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Fans weigh in on the feisty Erasmus-Hansen war of words

By Josh Raisey
Rassie Erasmus and Steve Hansen

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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.

The Crusaders were also criticised for the same thing throughout the Super Rugby season, with fans dismayed at how the champions were able to get away with the things that they did.

(Continue reading below…)

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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: 


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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