• Hansen: No point climbing into refs

    Nearly every match of the World Cup has been marred by a dubious refereeing decision but coaches, pundits and fans should lay off the officials, says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

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    Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was unhappy with the officiating as his side was shocked 19-12 by hosts Japan.

    Australia’s Michael Cheika previously complained it was ‘us versus everyone’ after his wing Reece Hodge was handed a three-week ban following their defeat of Fiji. The Australian coach was again left bemused when his side were downed by Wales with concerns over high tackle laws and application.

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    That was coupled with England’s Piers Francis being let off for a similar offense.

    ‘I just don’t know the rules anymore, honestly. Our guy makes that tackle, he gets suspended – the English guy gets off,’ he said.

    And even South Africans were left angry as the Boks succumbed to the All Blacks in their opening Pool B clash.

    World Rugby was even forced to release a statement on the poor officiating in week one.

    And while social media has lit up with memes and videos pointing out the errors, the New Zealand coach has been a rare voice in defence of the refs.

    ‘I talked before we came to this tournament about how pressure can affect rugby teams that are under pressure and referees are no different,’ said Hansen.

    ‘So, there’s no point everybody climbing into them because it’s not going to do anything other than put them under more pressure and that’s not going to fix the problem.’

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