These pictures show why Steve Hansen is frustrated.
The All Blacks coach is angry at his team being portrayed as the Big Bad Wolf of international rugby following the 21-9 win over a spirited Ireland team – with the dual citings today of Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa adding grist to the mill.
But Hansen is angry about the hysterical reaction from sections of the Irish media and rugby public. He took offence at television sideline interviewer Clare MacNamara’s probing questions about yellow cards and a high penalty count against the All Blacks. The same line of questioning surfaced at the post-match press conference and resulted in an equally grumpy response from Hansen.
Hansen has passionately defended his men, saying the high speed tempo of the modern game and player fallibility often contribute to unfortunate collisions. But he then more pointedly directed the conversation towards refereeing consistency.
“All I want to say is that I would like to see some consistency in the same game,” he said afterwards.
“Because I saw the same thing happen to us but no one was penalised or yellow carded.”

Photographic evidence seems to support Hansen’s claim.
Herald photographer Brett Phibbs snapped this shot of Brodie Retallick copping what looks like a no-arms tackle from his Irish opponent ….. and with the first point of contact looking like it is flush on the big All Black’s jaw. That, of course, is what Cane will face the judiciary over, even though it appeared the first point of contact in his collision with Robbie Henshaw is the pair’s heads hitting each other.
Continued below.
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 All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick is hit in a high tackle. Photo / Brett Phibbs

All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick is hit in a high tackle. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Then there is the Beauden Barrett try which infuriated the Irish players, media and fans.
The claim Barrett failed to ground the ball conveniently disregards Jonny Sexton’s tackling technique.
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Pictures clearly show Sexton’s first point of contact in tackling Barrett from behind is a swinging right arm which illegally collects the All Black first five around the neck. In fact, Sexton’s arm stays wrapped around Barrett’s neck for the entire movement as the pair hit the ground and the Irishman tries to wrestle the ball from him with his left arm.
Johnny Sexton hits Beauden Barrett high.

Johnny Sexton hits Beauden Barrett high.

The high tackle means that even if Barrett did fail to ground the ball, South African referee Jaco Peyper could have awarded a penalty try for an illegal high tackle. He could have even sent Sexton to the sin bin.
It is the northern media’s failure to highlight those incidents that has got Hansen’s goat up.