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All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen Denies Secret Ref Meeting Before Australia Game

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen Denies Secret Ref Meeting Before Australia Game
By John Balfe

The fallout from yesterday's hugely contentious Bledisloe Cup match between Australia and New Zealand is showing no signs of abating. The match, which the All Blacks won 29-9, was a bad tempered affair and marred by allegations of eye-gouging by New Zealand prop Owen Franks on Kane Douglas. 

Australia coach Michael Cheika was furious after the match and lodged an official complaint about the performances of referee Romain Poite - and it seems like Brian O'Driscoll is in agreement.

Cheika claims that none of his team, including his captain Stephen Moore, were permitted to speak to the referee while no such restrictions existed for the All Blacks side. Further to that, the Wallabies claim that Hansen had a clandestine meeting with Poite prior to the match - something that would be illegal under the rules of the game, unless a representative of the Australian team was present also.

Hansen denies this claim, but admits that he did meet assistant referee Jaco Peyper prior to the match:

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It’s quite sad that’s come out because it’s not true. Unless you [mean I said], ‘G’day Romain’ in the morning because he stayed here at this hotel. I did have a meeting with Jaco Peyper this week and talked to him at his request with Crono [All Blacks assistant Mike Cron] about some of the stuff that he had seen in our game.

I’m a firm believer that we’re here to support the referees and help them. It’s a difficult game to ref so why wouldn’t you have the meeting?

We certainly didn’t have one with Romain Poite. We don’t meet the ref, haven’t done for about 18 to 24 months, because it’s just a waste of time.

This one looks set to rumble on for quite a while.

See More: Michael Cheika Furious As Eye-Gouging Row Overshadows New Zealand Loss

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