newsCO.com.au–Hansen irate at big screen intrusion

November 14, 2017

Steve Hansen has launched a broadside at the influence of big screen replays, three years after first describing it as a blight on international rugby.

The All Blacks coach was incensed by the number of key decisions that went against his side over the closing minutes of the 28-23 win over a French selection in Lyon.

Young English referee Luke Pearce appeared to be swayed by either the home team or the boisterous crowd to view repeats of incidents of New Zealand indiscretions.

The most obvious example came when the big screen repeatedly showed a contentious incident involving prop Atu Moli while his All Blacks team-mate Richie Mo’unga was lining up a penalty shot at goal.

It caught the eye of Pearce, who eventually reversed the penalty ruling.

Hansen said that sort of action effectively handed control of matches to the broadcasters, who will inevitably highlight incidents that favour home teams.

“You can’t be tried by the big screen. It’s either the TMO or the ref that are going to do that,” Hansen said.

“If you keep showing it on the big screen and the crowd starts going crazy, you get decisions turned around.

“They only show what they want to show by the look of it and I thought it was poor.”

Hansen has highlighted the problem twice previously, both in late 2014.

South Africa were the beneficiaries of big screen replays in a win in Johannesburg while England came close to toppling the All Blacks at Twickenham on the back of some key rulings.

Hansen said the issue was raised then with World Rugby but it appears to have had little impact.

He suspects New Zealand Rugby will probably make another approach to lawmakers.

“We keep getting reassurances that it won’t happen again,” he said.

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