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Kiwi fans spewing as TVNZ won't be showing All Blacks on Friday - it'll be Coronation Street instead

NZ Herald

It’s the game no one wants to play – and TVNZ will not screen the All Blacks’ playoff for the Rugby World Cup bronze medal with Wales on Friday night.

Instead Kiwi fans will have to put up with Coronation Street.

TVNZ confirmed to the Herald today that it will not be covering Friday’s bronze medal match and will air Coronation Street instead, saying “it’s not our choice”.

“TVNZ was given rights to cover 12 matches and unfortunately the bronze game wasn’t one,” a TVNZ spokeswoman said.

The game will be broadcast live on Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport.

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Coro fans will be jumping for joy knowing they won’t have to wait another week to see Evelyn rip into Bethany and Gail reaching out Shona as she grieves a loss like no other, according to TVNZ’s synopsis.

The playoff for third kicks off at 10pm on Friday night, but Coro St screens from 9pm-10pm, followed by 1 News Tonight.

All Blacks supporters have been left in shock that the state broadcaster doesn’t have the ability to show the swansong clash for All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and skipper Kieran Read.

“[It’s] arguably a more important game than any of the pool stages after the defeat in Yokohama,” one fan told the Herald.

The TVNZ spokeswoman said Spark Sport would be streaming the match live.

Despite the agony of their semifinal defeat loss to England the night before, the All Blacks are intent of putting in a performance they can be proud of at Tokyo Stadium on Friday night.

For several, including skipper Kieran Read and coach Steve Hansen, it will be the last time they are closely involved with the All Blacks.

“We’re playing, obviously, so we will treat it like any test match,” Read said yesterday.

“It will be a bit different for us but we’ll prepare as well as we can and perform as best we can. We’re All Blacks so it’s a chance for us to pull on the jersey again.

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“For some of us it may be our last chance. There are a few things there what we’ll work through this week and come Friday we’ll be ready to go.”

It’s likely several players not involved in the England loss will get a run; men such as Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty are likely to play, along with Sonny Bill Williams, on the bench for the last two games here.

Hansen said it wasn’t for him to comment on whether the playoff for what is effectively second and third losers should be played. Like it or not, it’s a test, and he and his men still have a remarkable record to protect.

“The fact is the game’s there and the fact is we have to get up,” he said.

“They’re the inconvenient facts. How do we do that? Well, we get connected again and set ourselves an immediate goal and work hard to make sure that we really enjoy this week. It will be the last week that this team is together and we have an opportunity to do it well.

This article first appeared in the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

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Kiwi fans spewing as TVNZ won't be showing All Blacks on Friday - it'll be Coronation Street instead