Steve Hansen couldn't resist having a little fun at the All Blacks press conference ahead of Saturday's test against the Springboks.

The All Blacks are going into the test in Wellington as heavy favourites.

South Africa are the No. 7 ranked side in the world and are coming off back-to-back losses against Argentina and Australia. The TAB has the All Blacks at a meagre $1.05 to take the test on Saturday, while the Springboks are on $8.50.

So when a South African journalist reminded him that the All Blacks only managed to beat the Springboks by one point in their last meeting – a tightly contested 25-24 win in Cape Town – Hansen couldn't help himself.


The All Blacks coach couldn't even start answering the question without letting out a chuckle, perhaps anticipating an opportunity to land another one of his zingers.

"You always remember the last ones, not the ones before that," he said while cracking a wry smile.

The one before that, of course, was a 57-0 thrashing of the Boks in Albany, one of the All Blacks' most dominant performances in recent years.

"The last one could have gone either way and if we're really honest, should've gone South Africa's way," Hansen continued.

"So they should probably be the favourites, I reckon."

Badum tish. Hansen barely managed to keep a straight face while delivering the line, his expression basically the personification of a massive wink face emoji.

And yet, the South African media took the quote and ran with it.

SA Rugby Mag went with the headline "Steve Hansen: 'Springboks are favourites'", a straightforward report on how the Hansen "insists" that the All Blacks are underdogs.

John Goliath of ESPN then released a column also seemingly missing Hansen's tone completely, spending an entire piece trying to figure out if the All Blacks head comedian was joking.

"If by some miracle of miracles the Boks do win on Saturday, Hansen will have his excuse ready to go," Goliath wrote.

This isn't the first time Hansen has dropped the "favourites" bomb.

Before the All Blacks' first Bledisloe Cup test of the year, Hansen called the Wallabies favourites.

"We lost to Australia the last time we played them, so no doubt they'll have a lot of self-confidence and are worthy of starting as favourites," Hansen said, referring to the Wallabies 23-18 win in Brisbane last October.

When he said that in August, Hansen caused a little bit of a stir, but it felt more considered, almost like a Machiavellian charm offensive in an attempt to throw the Wallabies off their game.

The Wallabies were comfortably beaten 38-13 in Sydney, then 40-12 at Eden Park.

Back then, Hansen supposedly claiming the underdog tag was just a quote in a press release. We didn't have the luxury of seeing Hansen's face which tells you all you need to know.

In comedy, delivery is key. Just ask the South Africans.