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NZ Herald Publishes Laughable Attack On RTÉ's Clare McNamara After Hansen Interview

NZ Herald Publishes Laughable Attack On RTÉ's Clare McNamara After Hansen Interview
By Gavan Casey Updated

It seems the All Blacks' 'extreme' physicality is a touchy subject in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Herald has published a remarkable and fairly scathing profile of RTÉ sports reporter Clare McNamara following her spiky post-match interview with ABs head coach Steve Hansen after the Kiwis' 21-9 victory over Ireland on Saturday.

Hansen became exasperated by questions from McNamara over his side's penalty count and incessant high tackles during a high-intensity game at the Aviva Stadium, eventually requesting that she switch her line of questioning.

Such was the nerve McNamara struck with our friends in the southern hemisphere, the Herald in New Zealand last night (or this morning, NZ time) 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 gets caught in the crossfire.

"The Irish television presenter who angered Steve Hansen is renowned for her persistent interviewing," writes Online Editors in the popular publication, "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.

Ah, yes. Fair play to the brave and gallant Steve Hansen, whose narky, wishy-washy response to a perfectly legitimate line of questioning - during a game in which the All Blacks conceded 14 penalties to Ireland's four, and received two yellow cards - 'sent Clare McNamara to Coventry'.

But then they return to the former Clare hurling boss, whose interview with McNamara they presumably found while Googling the RTÉ reporter:

The Fitzgerald interview is a source of mirth in Ireland with the coach claiming he has no comment on anything before then waxing lyrical on a whole range of subjects as MacNamara laps up the responses.

'Laps up the responses' is certainly a strange formulation, and an interesting perception of Clare McNamara's reaction to an interviewee's answers, particularly when you consider she's rarely if ever on screen during post-match interviews. Perhaps our friends in New Zealand's version of the Herald did their homework and sent across a couple of their own reporters to investigate Clare during the Championship; an attempt to gain a tactical insight into what horrors and 'traps' might befall Steve Hansen in the winter.

They continue, still drawing the Fitzgerald-Hansen comparison:

Social media and media game Fitzgerald a hard time over starting the interview with a refusal to comment and then speaking widely on a whoele range of subjects.

Hansen wasn't having any of that when MacNamara went down a similar track with him following questions on the two yellow cards and high penalty count suffered by the All Blacks.

They're correct, of course. He wasn't. He wasn't even used to being asked about it, which is telling in itself.

You can check out the full New Zealand Herald article here.

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SEE ALSO: Steve Hansen Gave An Extremely Spiky Post-Game Interview To RTE

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