Karl Tu’inukuafe of the All Blacks shakes hands with coach Steve Hansen, left.
Karl Tu’inukuafe of the All Blacks shakes hands with coach Steve Hansen, left.

‘I could sit here and squeal too’: Hansen roasts the French

THE New Zealand-France Test series is reaching a spiky conclusion after Steve Hansen called on the tourists to quit complaining about the referees.

All Blacks coach Hansen ran out of patience after a French journalist suggested the hosts should put the Dave Gallaher Trophy up for grabs in the final Test in Dunedin on Saturday.

The proposal was made in the wake of perceived injustices in both the first two Tests as New Zealand secured the silverware with a game to spare.

While Hansen didn't deny his team had received the rub of the green, he said France were doing themselves no favours by dwelling on negatives.

He referred to last year's drawn series between the All Blacks and British and Irish Lions, when a contentious non-penalty ruling in the final minute left the deciding Test locked 15-15.

"You go back 12 months and I could sit here and squeal about that too, but it's pointless, isn't it?" Hansen said.

"You can talk about any series and say that. That's the way rugby is."

France was competitive in the 52-11 first Test loss in Auckland until two pivotal incidents.

Paul Gabrillagues was shown a dubious yellow card before French teammate Remy Grosso suffered a tour-ending head injury in a collision that resulted in nothing more than a penalty despite high contact from two All Blacks forwards.

The 26-13 loss in Wellington last week was dominated by the early red card shown to Benjamin Fall, despite the French fullback showing no intent to injure when he collided with leaping New Zealand five-eighth Beauden Barrett.

 

France’s Uini Atonio attends a press conference at a hotel in Auckland.
France’s Uini Atonio attends a press conference at a hotel in Auckland.

France's Kiwi born prop Uini Atonio summed up the frustrated mood this week as the tourists limped to the end of another marathon season.

"I don't want to be a cry baby or anything, but it's just not fair," Atonio said.

"It's always going to be like that because the All Blacks are the best and if you want to beat them, then you have to beat them 15 against 16. That's the only way we can beat them."

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