Rugby

11 Things You May Have Forgotten From All Blacks' Spiteful 2016 Win In Dublin

11 Things You May Have Forgotten From All Blacks' Spiteful 2016 Win In Dublin

Given the fact that we hadn't beaten them, er, ever, it has been necessary to send the Chicago win over the All Blacks into myth. Heck, we did that before full-time. So while that game will forever be a splendid memory, it somewhat overshadows the All Blacks' fraught vengeance in Dublin a fortnight later.

New Zealand won a brutal Test match 21-9, but both the game and its fall-out was saturated in controversy. Here are a few things you may have forgotten...

Tadhg Furlong went a-barrellin'...

...while the All Blacks took out Robbie Henshaw

Henshaw left the field on a stretcher following this sickeningly high hit by Sam Cane.

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Incredibly, the supine Jaco Peyper decided after a TMO review to award a penalty and nothing more. Once he made the decision, the camera cut to a visibly shocked Joe Schmidt. The tackle rules have now been amended, and it would be a straight red card incident today. That, however, is a couple of years to late for Henshaw, Schmidt, and Ireland...

Peyper managed to miss plenty of other incidents of All Black malice 

Israel Dagg took CJ Stander out of the game with this shoulder to the head...

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....while Fekitoa was given a yellow for this appalling high tackle on Simon Zebo. After the game, World Rugby upgraded the decision to a red-card offence, and the player was suspended for the following game against France.

Des Bishop summed it all up 

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Ireland were also horsed by the officials on the second New Zealand try 

13 minutes into the game, Beauden Barrett found a gap to canter home for what looked a certain try for the ABs.

That was before Johnny Sexton spawned from nowhere to appear to hold him up and rip the ball away. There was enough doubt for Peyper to send the decision upstairs, with the TMO bizarrely making the call before seeing all of the available angles.

After the TMO said he clearly saw a grounding, he later looked at an angle which pretty much totally contradicted his earlier opinion.

Peyper didn't seem entirely delighted to give it, to his credit, but the decision was made nonetheless. Rory Best was utterly bemused, as heard on the ref's mic.

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Beauden Barrett apologised for that try, although not for what you might think... 

In his post-game interview, Barrett was asked by RTE's Claire McNamara whether he had grounded the ball for New Zealand's try, as the TMO bewilderingly believed. He swerved the question by hiding behind the kind of obfuscating apology that rugby often does better than any other sport, by saying sorry for supposedly celebrating the try early.

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Things were only going to get worse for the RTE presenter, however.

Steve Hansen got extremely spiky with RTE afterward

Hansen assured viewers that there was no malice in any of his players' tackles, but when McNamara pressed the issue slightly further, he grew hostile, rhetorically spitting "Do you want me to tell you we are a dirty side? We've talked about it. Do you want to talk about something else now?"

And his local media supported him with a ludicrous hit-piece on McNamara 

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Such was the nerve McNamara struck with our friends in the southern hemisphere, the Herald in New Zealand published an 'explainer' article about McNamara, entitled 'Meet Clare MacNamara, the woman who took on Steve Hansen', and somewhat bizarrely, even current Wexford hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald got caught in the crossfire.

The Irish television presenter who angered Steve Hansen is renowned for her persistent interviewing," writes hard-working journalist Online Editors, "but the All Blacks coach is one of the few coaches not to fall into her trap."

Here we go.

Clare MacNamara works for RTE, Irish television's version of TVNZ and the host broadcaster in Ireland for the Dublin test, has form when it comes to pushing hard for questions.

And she has a few victims to her name too.

The experienced broadcaster, who started out in county journalism for a small radio station, is famed for an interview earlier this year with leading Gaelic hurling coach Davy Fitzgerald.

Hurling is huge in Ireland and is televised live. MacNamara interviewed the notoriously grumpy Fitzgerald after his team had lost a key final 1-0.

In fairness, they've nailed Davy Fitz's post-match interview style here, but their grasp of hurling seems tenuous at best all things considered.

Fitzgerald begins the interview with the same stony-faced grimace Hansen was wearing after New Zealand's 21-9 victory over the Irish on Sunday morning.

But that's where the similarities end. MacNamara wore down Fitzgerald - Hansen sent her to Coventry.

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Yeah, we don't know what that means either. But hey, at least McNamara was willing to ask the questions, eh lads?

Elsewhere, New Zealand media claimed Ireland were merely "whinging"

This, from Sky Sport New Zealand:

And [our final talking point is] the Irish whinging about the referee all day.

There was a lot of chat. There was a lot of chat from the crowd. I mean, it's an Irish crowd. It's partisan, so you expect that. Was he influenced by the crowd, by the Irish players there today?

We've known for a long time that statistically referees are influenced by home crowds. That's a truth. That's a fact. And it certainly happened today. And they were loud. But hey, the rub of the green went our way as well with the Barrett try. It's one of those things, refereeing, it's never going to be perfect. We're probably boring everybody talking about it now.

In specific reference to the Sam Cane tackle on Henshaw:

If we're going to sanitise the game so much that a guy can't make a spot tackle, then I think we're in big trouble. And I know Northern Hemisphere fans are hot on this. They don't like anything that's above the chest. But Sam Cane is trying to dominate the game. He's probably the best dominant tackler in the game of footie [rugby union]. You cannot penalise that.

In terms of the defensive system, he's just covering his mate's back.

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World Rugby have since decided that the fans who were "hot on this" were also right about it.

A remarkable stat emerged from the game 

After a game in which the All Blacks received preferential treatment from the officials, it emerged that they hadn't actually had a player sent off in a Test match in 49 years, meaning that the last time a New Zealand player was red carded, there were no red cards. According to the ESPN's exhaustive and up-to-the-minute records, they hadn't had a player sent off since 1967.

The player in question was the fearsome Colin 'Pine-Tree' Meads, later voted New Zealand's Player of the Century. He was sent off by referee Kevin Kelleher for kicking Scotland's David Chisholm as he lay on the ground in the '67 game in Murrayfield.

This would eventually change the following summer, as Jerome Garces red-carded Sonny Bill Williams in the second of the All Blacks' Tests against the Lions.

Oh, and Peyper refereed this game in the same month as he was shortlisted for Ref of the Year 

He didn't win, mind. Perhaps it was this performance that cost him.

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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