Hansen defends Retallick over Hanigan incident

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by AFP & Beth Newman

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has come to the defence of Brodie Retallick, saying the lock wasn't acting deliberately when he tipped Australian flanker Ned Hanigan onto his head in Saturday's second Bledisloe Cup Test win.

With his side trailing early, the 66-Test Retallick escaped sanction for an incident in which he cleaned Hanigan out of a ruck, only to upend him.

Welsh referee Nigel Owens, after reviewing the incident with the TMO, found Retallick's actions to be accidental - infuriating Wallabies boss Michael Cheika.

The All Blacks ultimately went on to claim a late 35-29 win.

Cheika felt the lock should've been penalised, with a sin-binning or red card surely changing the course of the Test in his side's favour.


"He's got his arm through his legs, picked him up and it's a free pass. That's one that's clear, I don't have to go over it," Cheika said post-game.

"The guy can't end up on his head any other way. It's a freebie.

"Just as well he didn't break his neck."

Hansen disputed that series of events on Sunday, saying blindside Hanigan had jumped upon Retallick in the ruck and subsequently fell off.

He felt Owens' ruling was fair, and looked to avoid yet another trans-Tasman war of words with Cheika by saying he was entitled to his view.

"When somebody jumps on top of you, you get up on your knees and he falls off, it's an accident. It's not a deliberate act," Hansen told reporters.

"I don't want to get into that - (Cheika) made his point and that's fine."


A SANZAAR spokesman confirmed on Sunday that no citings had emerged from the game.

On the injury front, Hansen said most of his side emerged unscathed from their battle under the Dunedin roof, barring Sam Cane and Ryan Crotty concussions.

The pair will go through the relevant protocols, with the squad set to reconvene next week for their Test against Argentina in New Plymouth.

Owen Franks will also continue his rehab on an Achilles tendon issue, with Hansen hoping to call upon the veteran prop for this year's end-of-year tour.