Hansen angered at intrusion of bigscreen replays
LYON: Steve Hansen has launched a broadside at the influence of bigscreen replays, three years after first describing them as a blight on international rugby.
The All Black coach was incensed by the number of key decisions that went against his side over the closing minutes of the 2823 win over a French selection in Lyon yesterday.
Young English referee Luke Pearce appeared to be swayed by either the home team or the boisterous crowd to view repeats of incidents of All Black indiscretions.
The most obvious example came when the big screen repeatedly showed a contentious incident involving prop Atu Moli while All Black teammate Richie Mo’unga was lining up a penalty shot at goal.
It caught the eye of Pearce, who eventually reversed the penalty ruling.
Hansen said that sort of action effectively handed control of matches to the broadcasters, who inevitably highlighted incidents that favoured home teams.
‘‘You can’t be tried by the big screen. It’s either the TMO or the ref that are going to do that,’’ Hansen said.
‘‘If you keep showing it on the big screen and the crowd starts going crazy, you get decisions turned around.
‘‘They only show what they want to show by the look of it and I thought it was poor.’’
Hansen has highlighted the problem twice previously, both in late 2014.
South Africa was the beneficiaries of bigscreen replays in a win in Johannesburg while England came close to toppling the All Blacks at Twickenham on the back of some key rulings.
Hansen said the issue was raised then with World Rugby but it appeared to have had little impact.
He suspects New Zealand Rugby will probably make another approach to lawmakers.
‘‘We keep getting reassurances that it won’t happen again,’’ he said. — NZN