Latu's shove a "dumb" play: Hansen

International
by Sam Phillips

"You do dumb things you get dumb reactions."

In those eight words All Blacks coach Steve Hansen surmised Tolu Latu's soft, needless yellow card.

Codie Taylor baited the Wallabies replacement in the 66th minute with a push to the shoulder and he responded with a shove to the face.


Referee Romain Poite was always going to reach for his pocket as soon as the big screen flashed a replay which showed clear contact to the head and as soft as it was, Latu must simply be more disciplined.

Beating the All Blacks with 15 players is hard enough.

Beating them with 14 is entering Mission Impossible territory.

Hansen hit the nail on the head when he labelled the play "dumb".


"You aren't allowed to strike someone in the face so it was pretty clear wasn't it," he said.

"You do dumb things you get dumb reactions and the ref had no other option.

"If he hadn't done it he probably would have been hearing from his bosses.

"He did what he should do and give the guy 10 minutes

"Sport brings out moments where you overreact and their young hooker overreacted to something Codie did.

"It was a whole lot about nothing really."

Hansen's counterpart, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, concurred.

"He shouldn't do it," Cheika said.


"You know that if they push us and he pushes back he should know that it is going to come back and get us.

"That's the nature of where we are at at the moment.

"It's pretty simple but at the same time as a footballer you don't want to get pushed.

"I don't think the referee was going to do anything about it as he kept coming towards him.

"Maybe that's the expectation on us. He definitely shouldn't do it."

The problem with Latu is that it's not the first time and certainly won't be the last he is baited into such a poor decision.

He was sin binned with four minutes to play in the last start win over Argentina for a reckless elbow and must sharpen this part of his game up to avoid becoming a liability.

Cheika had no issue with the Tahs hooker standing up for himself but implored him to think twice before making such a decision next time.

"I understand that he wants to stand up for himself and look after himself and that's part of the game," Cheika said.

"But not in that manner because it cost us 10 minutes and didn't achieve anything anyway."