Ahead of the mammoth clash between the All Blacks and South Africa this Saturday in the World Cup, tensions seem to have frayed between Steve Hansen and Rassie Erasmus. The two head coaches have already started a small verbal war regarding refereeing and the treatment that the All Blacks receive.
Erasmus suggested that the All Blacks receive preferential treatment from referees due to their dominance in world rugby over the years, and he hoped that all teams would be treated equally. Hansen hit back by saying that the officials do not need any more pressure heaped on them externally, and said that he does not agree with what Erasmus is doing.
But in light of Hansen’s comments, fans from across the world have chimed in on Twitter, backing up the South African coach. It’s a long held conspiracy that the All Blacks are treated more favourably by referees, particularly when it comes to the breakdown and the offside line.
Erasmus is not the first person to voice his opinion regarding this, but Hansen has clearly taken objection to it ahead of such a crucial game.
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That is why many fans on Twitter have agreed with the South African, saying that the All Blacks are given more leeway than other teams, and also suggesting that Hansen must know this himself. This has been the reaction:
Refs let the ABs get away with murder all the time. Blocking defenders around the rucks… backline camp offside. Hansen knows exactly what Rassies is referring to.
— Gavin (@Slug_Slug) September 19, 2019
Simple watch clips of NZ activities at ruck time to see how they manipulate the laws. Refs need to police this strictly not just for fair play but more importantly for safety. Not only for elite players but for kids who are coached to emulate what is done at elite level!
— fogdog (@fogdog13749177) September 19, 2019
The truth hurts, had Hansen saying the refs favoured S.A. teams in super rugby, no S.A. coaches cried because it wasn't true, Hansen knows that the all blacks get away with offside, lying on the ball at rucks and blocking https://t.co/PVih7FdBxe
— Sagheer Osman?? (@sagheerosman) September 19, 2019
— GoonerWA (@Zimex15) September 19, 2019
Hansen….of New Zealand…. accusing South Africa of attempting to pressure referees…. pic.twitter.com/tBFG7vvC6V
— Jonathan Fitzpatrick (@JFitzpatrick92) September 19, 2019
All Blacks are hating this new trend that they might be refereed the same as other teams
— hoekatjakka (@BoknRoll) September 19, 2019
A gee gosh, we’re the underdogs from New Zealand, please play fair. Piss off. Theyve been getting away with murder for years and years
— EP (@ep_forever) September 19, 2019
It’s got to be highlighted though. Is Rassie lying? Nope. I hope the refs are on top of their game on sat and the result doesn’t get swayed by poor calls, as has happened in the past.
— Tashriq Omar (@Redcap85) September 19, 2019
It is hard to know who is in the right in this situation. While it is perhaps wrong for Erasmus to put pressure on referees in the way that he did, it is for legitimate reasons according to many fans. But Saturday is one of the biggest games that the RWC has ever seen in the pool stages and each team will want to get any advantage possible.
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