England 21-24 New Zealand
Steve Hansen hits out at big-screen replays
November 8, 2014
Nigel Owens of Wales issues a yellow card to New Zealand's Dane Coles © Getty Images

Steve Hansen has launched another attack on the growing influence of big-screen replays in Test rugby, the New Zealand coach angry that Welsh referee Nigel Owens appeared to have been swayed by a multitude of replays on at least two occasions during the All Blacks' 24-21 win over England at Twickenham on Saturday.

First Dane Coles was shown a yellow card in the second half, for lashing out with his foot, and then Owens re-considered his decision to award Charlie Faumuina a late try; the 82,000-strong crowd vented displeasure after a host of replays showed the prop had possibly not ground the ball so Owens asked for goal-kicker Beauden Barrett to stop his conversion attempt while the referee assessed the decision. The try stood after Owens took another look, but Hansen replays almost always favoured the home team.

"My biggest concern is that the TV producers are starting to have an influence on the game," Hansen said. "If something goes wrong, we see a replay 10 times even though the referee hasn't seen it, the touch judge hasn't seen it, the TMO hasn't seen it."

Hansen says the replays weren't in the spirit of rugby and shouldn't hold sway. He proposed the use of a challenge system, as is used in cricket, allowing the coach or captain to contest a decision they believe is wrong.

Hansen made exactly the same point following the All Blacks' 27-25 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg five weeks ago, when the Springboks landed a last-minute penalty after English referee Wayne Barnes was alerted to a New Zealand indiscretion only after it had been replayed multiple times.

"Referees will make mistakes and some of those mistakes will cost you the game," Hansen said. "You've got to live with that. The TV producers, they're starting to annoy me now somewhat."


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