New Zealand and South Africa rift before World Cup tie over favourable treatment from refs
New Zealand and South Africa rift before World Cup tie over favourable treatment from refs (Image: Getty)
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen today called out opposite number Rassie Erasmus for claiming the world champions receive favourable treatment from match officials.
"It's pretty obvious what they're trying to do and whilst I've got a lot of respect for South Africa and particularly Rassie, I think he's a great coach, I don't agree with what he's doing," said Hansen.
"He's trying to put pressure on referees externally and they're under enough pressure already. They don't need us coaches doing what he's doing.
"It doesn't matter who your ref is. As a coach or a team, you can always find things after the game that they didn't do and you can get emotional about that and think that they're picking on you and not on the opposition. We've done it ourselves.
"At the end of the day, they try to do the best they can do. Yes, they don't always get it right all the time and we've suffered from that just like other teams have.
“It's a big game, we just need to let the ref get on with it and prepare for it himself."
Jerome Garces, who sent off New Zealand second row Scott Barrett against Australia in the summer, will be in charge on Saturday.
Hansen believes the French referee will not fall for Erasmus's trick.
"All I can say is I'd hope so," said Hansen. "They're not stupid people."