Pre-test bug reveal affected both sides says Hansen

By NZHerald

New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs
New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has rubbished suggestions from the Australian Rugby Union that the discovery of the listening device in his team's Sydney hotel last year was deliberately leaked to add pressure to the Wallabies.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said the breaking of the Spygate scandal by the Herald on the day of last August's opening Bledisloe Cup test, won in record style by the All Blacks 42-8, left a "bitter taste".

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has also criticised the All Blacks' timing, suggesting it was a ploy.

But in an interview with Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch to be aired at midday today, Hansen refutes the allegations, saying Pulver's claim the announcement of the discovery was timed to damage the Wallabies was "rubbish".

Cheika's Wallabies had gone into the test having lost the Rugby World Cup final to the All Blacks the year before, plus a three-test series against a touring England in June.

"The Wallabies were already under enough pressure and it's not something ... as I said, the integrity of the game is bigger than winning or losing, and it's not something we would do," Hansen told Veitch. "It's unfortunate it came out at that point and both sides were affected by it, because it was a shock to everyone in our group who weren't aware of it - we kept it pretty quiet.

"There's no advantage to us. To hear him saying we were trying to put them off is just rubbish."

Hansen said it was important not to jump to conclusions following the arrest of security contractor Adrian Gard by the NSW police. Gard, who has worked with the team for more than 10 years and accompanied them to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, will appear in court next month and has maintained his innocence.

"It's bizarre," Hansen said. "I don't understand it. I know the guy who has been charged with it, and I have a lot of time and respect for him. I just don't see any motive for him wanting to do it, so that's why I can't believe it."

Asked about England closing in on the All Blacks' record of 18 consecutive wins, Hansen said: "Records are made to be broken. If they do break it, we'll be the first to congratulate them, because it's not an easy thing to do and the closer you get to the magic number, the more pressure that comes on.

"They're playing very well and they should be applauded for that."

Hansen rates at "80-20" the likelihood of Israel Dagg staying home rather than heading overseas.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 30 May 2017 05:53:01 Processing Time: 557ms