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'There’s nothing in it' - Hansen refuses to entertain talk of McCaw citing

‘If you can’t get him on the track, let’s get him off the track sort of thing.’

Murray Kinsella reports from London

NEW ZEALAND COACH Steve Hansen has refused to entertain talk of Richie McCaw being cited for use of the elbow on Francois Louw during his side’s World Cup semi-final win over South Africa yesterday evening in Twickenham.

Reports last night suggested that the New Zealand captain could be facing a citing for an incident in the 22nd minute of the Kiwis’ 20-18 victory.

Richie McCaw consoles Bryan Habana McCaw shakes hands with Bryan Habana after a brutal battle. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

However, closer study of the incident in question suggests that McCaw’s elbow did not make contact with Louw.

Hansen believes that there is no case for the 147 cap veteran to answer.

“No. There’s nothing in it so there’s nothing to talk about,” said Hansen this morning at New Zealand’s hotel in Weybridge. “Everyone’s got a bit excited and we move on.”

McCaw is a divisive figure in the world of rugby, with many respecting his longevity and ability, while others argue that the openside flanker breaks the laws of the game too often.

Hansen believes the amount of attention McCaw receives is a mark of his quality.

He’s a man that draws a lot of attention because he’s a great player, maybe the greatest player in the history of the game, and if he’s not in your team, then he’s a pain in the rear end.

“So if you can’t get him on the track, let’s get him off the track sort of thing. It’s a mark of respect really. He takes it in his stride.”

New Zealand’s discipline was poor yesterday in Twickenham as they conceded 13 penalties to South Africa’s six. Hansen admitted that he was disappointed with that aspect of the game, but also stated that his review had shown some questionable calls from Jérôme Garcès.

Dane Coles celebrates with head coach Steve Hansen Hansen congratulates hooker Dane Coles. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I have watched it and a lot of the penalties were justified,” said Hansen. ”There’s a couple I didn’t agree with, so I’ll have to talk to Joel (Jutge, World Rugby head of referees) about the interpretation.

I’m talking mainly about Reado’s (Kieran Read) entry into the maul. I felt he was in the maul and had every right to do what he was doing, so I have to check that one out.

“My only concern is that while we’re getting penalised for things, the same things are happening on the opposition and they weren’t. You just want consistency.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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