Hansen: Ireland used neck rolls

Julian Savea is grabbed around the neck by Rob Kearney during the victory in Dublin. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Julian Savea is grabbed around the neck by Rob Kearney during the victory in Dublin. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Steve Hansen has hit back at claims his side is dirty by inferring the Irish were guilty of illegal tactics in the Dublin test.

All Blacks pair Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa have been cited following the bruising 21-9 win.

Cane clashed with Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and the Leinster midfield back was carried from the field on a stretcher as a results. Fekitoa was sinbinned for a high tackle in the 48th minute when he went in high on Simon Zebo and received a yellow card.

The All Black coach was left exasperated by a sideline interview with Irish television after the test, when quizzed about the high penalty count.

The bad blood has included an Irish Independent headline screaming: "Should Malakai Fekitoa have been sent off for almost decapitating Simon Zebo?"

Hansen has used a later interview to question Ireland's tactics, along with criticising his own team's effort with the ball.

"There were neck rolls and all sorts of things going on that were missed that we could sit there and complain about," he said.

"There was no quarter asked or given."

Beauden Barrett of New Zealand goes over to score his side's second try despite the tackle of Johnny Sexton. Photo /Getty
Beauden Barrett of New Zealand goes over to score his side's second try despite the tackle of Johnny Sexton. Photo /Getty

Hansen said two-try centre Fekitoa would be "spoken to" about the high tackle on Simon Zebo, but he stoutly defended Sam Cane over the Robbie Henshaw tackle, which he said was a clear, accidental head clash.

Meanwhile, Hansen said this four-test tour was helping his less-experienced players prepare for the Lions next year.

"When you combine four teams, with all that talent, they will have some heavy artillery," he said.

"We will have to bar up, get the job done. It will be a great series and the Lions will be a really good side, one of the best they have ever sent.

"We lost a lot of experience after the World Cup - northern hemisphere rugby is a lot more uncompromising, physical. It is a hard grind up front.

"It is not as free flowing and it is good for this group to go through that, and find an answer to it. The more games we get against these guys the better it is for next year. France will be very similar."

Hansen said the All Blacks attitude had been good, fired by the defeat in Chicago.
""We had to do a lot of defending...(but) not the smartest game with the ball."

- NZ Herald

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