Hansen denies meeting ref Poite
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