TOUGH TEST: All Blacks Brodie Retallick attempts to charge down British and Irish Lions Conor Murray's kick during the first test between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks.
TOUGH TEST: All Blacks Brodie Retallick attempts to charge down British and Irish Lions Conor Murray's kick during the first test between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks. Mark Baker

All Blacks coach slams claim against players

ACCUSATIONS of illegal play and a ploy to deliberately injure opposition players have been shut down by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Hansen's testy response followed claims from his opposite number Warren Gatland that All Blacks players tried to harm British and Irish Lions scrumhalf Conor Murray by diving at his legs during the All Blacks 30-15 victory in the first Test in Auckland.

The claims are no surprise to the Kiwi mentor after Gatland suggested the All Blacks engaged in a number of illegal tactics in the lead-up to the clash including illegal scrummaging and blocking of runners chasing kicks.

"It's predictable coming from Gatland. Two weeks ago we cheated in the scrums, last week it was blocking, now we're saying this,” Hansen said.

"We are not intentionally trying to hurt anyone. It is really, really disappointing. We're trying to charge the kick down and or tackle him.”

Hansen pointed to the fact that no All Blacks players were cautioned during the match as proof his team were playing within the rules.


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