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Hansen stamps out foul play

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'We're not judged by social media' Hansen stamps out suggestions of All Blacks' foul play after images circulate

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has stamped out suggestions of All Blacks’ foul play, telling media on Tuesday that ‘you can get shots of anything if you want’ if you look hard enough.

The World Cup-winning coach says he doesn’t take much notice of what is doing the rounds on social media following games. Hansen believes in a ‘staunch’ judicial system that doesn’t take issues lightly.

“I don’t take much notice of it. You can get shots of anything if you want.

“There’s a judicial system that’s been in place for a long time and whether you like it or not, they’ve been pretty staunch on what they’re about so if it gets past those guys, then move on. We’re not judged by social media.”

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Hansen explained that both teams have the chance to submit evidence to a citing commissioner following a game.

“Fiji didn’t have to go via social media to go to the Judicial Committee (after the Australia match).

“You get asked every game regarding anything you want to put up and if you feel like you’ve got something to put up, you put it up. South Africa obviously didn’t feel like they had anything and we didn’t have anything and the citing commissioner didn’t see anything.

Social media is part of our society and I can’t worry about that. Worry about the stuff you can control. What people put on social media doesn’t bother me a hoot.”

On the pitch, Hansen has noticed just how tight defences are so far, describing defence as ‘king’ until someone finds a way to change that recipe.

“Defence is the big winner at the moment, isn’t it. Line speed, everyone’s bringing it. Georgia, apart from a couple of set-piece tries, really took it to Wales defensively. That’s where our game is at the moment. Defence is king, dominating the game.

“Hopefully, it’s cyclical; defence will dominate until someone finds a recipe to change that and then attack will come back.”

Hansen has been impressed by what he has seen from the strongest of the Northern Hemisphere teams so far who seem motivated to find a better return than 2015 where none made it past the quarterfinals.

“We all know that they’re in good shape, don’t we?

“They’re playing well, they’ve got a good thing going up in the Northern Hemisphere where they’re competing against each other and are striving to raise the bar all the time.

“That’s a hangover from the last World Cup where they all failed, so the pressure’s on for them to get better and they’ve done that. But now they’re here and the pressure’s on for them to show how well they’ve done and they’ve got off to a good start. They’re getting better right across the park.”

After an opening-round win over South Africa, the All Blacks sit comfortably atop Pool B but know they will have to improve if they want to win three straight Rugby World Cups.

“We’re pretty happy with it but at the end of the day, it’s not a finished job, we’re going have to play better than that if we want to win this tournament. And that would be the same statement from all the teams that have played and won.

“We’ve seen good performances from Ireland, England and Wales and Australia came from behind to beat a really good Fijian performance.

Eddie Jones after England’s win over Tonga:

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'We're not judged by social media' Hansen stamps out suggestions of All Blacks' foul play after images circulate