Head coach Steve Hansen was in no mood to engage on social media highlighting the so-called "dirty All Black tactics" against the Springboks as the All Blacks arrived in Beppu on Japan's southern island of Kyushu to prepare for a busy week.

A day earlier assistant Ian Foster had said rugby supporters should trust the judicial process rather than platforms such as Twitter, and Hansen provided a similar point last night.

"I haven't taken too much notice of it to be quite frank," Hansen said. "You can go and get shots of anything if you want to. There's a judicial system that's been in place for a long time in rugby. Whether you like it or not they've been pretty staunch so if it gets past those guys you move on. We're not judged by social media.

Pushed on it, Hansen added: "What happens is [knock knock]. 'Hello citing commissioner, how are you? Good thanks. Have you got anything you want to complain about today, Steven? No thanks.' And he goes away. '[Knock knock] Rassie, have you got anything you want to say? No', and that's the same every game. That's just how it rolls and once you say no that's it, you don't have a second chance."

Advertisement
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wouldn't be drawn to comment on images circulating on social media. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wouldn't be drawn to comment on images circulating on social media. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The All Blacks have arrived in Beppu determined to put in the work on the training pitch over the next week ahead of their match against Canada which will see them through to the game against Namibia which follows four days later, and then the quarter-final week.

It's why Hansen raised a metaphorical eyebrow at suggestions his side had 10 days off following their 23-13 victory over South Africa in Yokohama which will almost certainly set them up for a quarter-final against either Scotland or Japan rather than the more ominous Ireland.

His players have two days off while they are here in this coastal spa city popular with tourists, and they are likely to enjoy the scenery and slightly slower pace compared with Tokyo, but they also have a plan to work as hard as they can in order to earn the right to ease off a little in terms of training load ahead of the knockout matches.

"I don't think it's about keeping their minds on the job," Hansen said when asked about the prospect of the newly installed No 1 side in the world facing the 22nd best in nearby Oita Stadium.

"They know what they're here for. We saw that against South Africa. What happens now is that we've got to knuckle down and make sure we work hard so that when we get to the quarter-final week that we can make sure we can do what we need to do without having to knock them around."

Flanker Matt Todd, who received a knock to a shoulder in the first week of training here but who is likely to play against Canada or Namibia, ranked the world's 23rd best, or perhaps in both, said: "This week Steve has laid out that it will be a pretty tough week. There will be a lot of hard work going in. There's a slightly longer turnaround so we can put more work in. There's four days after this game to the next so we won't be able to do too much."

Canada have little chance of beating the All Blacks but Hansen has already seen good signs from so-called underdogs Georgia and Fiji. Russia, who have been poor heading into this tournament, also pushed Japan hard in the opening match.

"If you look at the underdogs, and I used that term loosely, in all the other games, they've performed really above themselves because that's what happens at Rugby World Cups," Hansen said.

Advertisement

"I watched Wales v Georgia last night and thought it was a great game of footy. Fiji v Australia, what a great game of rugby - a great advertisement for our game. It's one of the reasons why this tournament is so good."

Love your rugby? Click here to subscribe to our new Premium newsletter for extensive Rugby World Cup coverage.