Hansen, Gat­land vow pint

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - MARK GEENTY

So that’s that, then. Steve Hansen and War­ren Gat­land ap­par­ently like each other af­ter all, and have sched­uled a post­match beer to­gether to talk horse rac­ing.

The ri­val coaches con­firmed their line­ups for to­mor­row’s sec­ond rugby test in Welling­ton then agreed to smoke a peace pipe, of sorts.

There’s been plenty go­ing on be­tween the All Blacks and Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions coaches this se­ries as each re­sponded to the other’s needling via jam­packed press con­fer­ences. It’s been en­ter­tain­ing and edgy, and gave the dis­tinct im­pres­sion the com­pa­tri­ots don’t have much time for each other.

The lat­est in­stal­ment was this week when Hansen bit back at what he saw as Gat­land’s in­fer­ence his All Blacks de­lib­er­ately tried to in­jure Lions half­back Conor Mur­ray. Gat­land re­sponded by say­ing it was odd that Hansen con­tacted a ra­dio sta­tion to air his views, which was re­ported by some me­dia out­lets but is un­der­stood to be in­cor­rect.

Sud­denly the tide, or tone, turned. Hansen re­jected any sug­ges­tion of per­sonal an­i­mos­ity be­tween the pair, as the All Blacks look to close out the se­ries at 1-0 up amid a rough Welling­ton fore­cast of rain and strength­en­ing northerly winds.

‘‘I read some­where I lashed out at War­ren Gat­land. I haven’t lashed out at War­ren Gat­land at all. I’ve got a lot of re­spect for him and I’m look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a beer with him and a chuckle about life,’’ Hansen said. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of com­mon in­ter­ests, he likes rac­ing horses and so do I.’’

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