Hansen de­nies meet­ing ref Poite

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has de­nied meet­ing referee Ro­main Poite be­fore Satur­day night’s 29-9 vic­tory over Aus­tralia which wrapped up the Bledis­loe Cup for an­other year and left Wal­la­bies coun­ter­part Michael Cheika fum­ing about per­ceived in­jus­tices from the match of­fi­cials. Cheika ac­cused Hansen of meet­ing French­man Poite dur­ing the week. The lat­est World Rugby reg­u­la­tions al­low for pre-test meet­ings with the referee, but the op­po­si­tion coach must also be no­ti­fied and al­lowed to at­tend. But Hansen, who joked yes­ter­day that he was “shat­tered” by Cheika’s ac­cu­sa­tion, said the meet­ing sim­ply didn’t hap­pen.

“It’s quite sad that that’s come out be­cause it’s not true,” he said. “Un­less you [mean I said], ‘gid­day Ro­main’ in the morn­ing be­cause he stayed here at this ho­tel.

“I did have a meet­ing with [as­sis­tant referee] Jaco Peyper this week and talked to him at his re­quest with Crono [All Blacks forwards coach 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. It’s a dif­fi­cult game to ref so why wouldn’t you have a meet­ing, but I cer­tainly didn’t have a meet­ing with Ro­main Poite. “We don’t meet the ref, we haven’t for 18 to 24 months be­cause it’s just a waste of time.” Asked where he thought Cheika, who was an­gry at Poite’s per­for­mance in the test at West­pac Sta­dium, and par­tic­u­larly at his al­leged re­fusal to en­gage with Wal­la­bies skip­per Stephen Moore, got the in­for­ma­tion, Hansen said: “I’m not sure, you’d have to ask Mr Cheika.” New Zealand Herald

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