Hansen: Bismark was 'unlucky'

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:28
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The All Blacks expressed a degree of sympathy for Springboks hardman Bismarck du Plessis.

The All Blacks expressed a degree of sympathy for Springboks hardman Bismarck du Plessis, whose red card blighted New Zealand's 29-15 victory in the clash of the rugby heavyweights on Saturday.

Du Plessis was sent packing after receiving two yellow cards, but the first - a shoulder charge on Dan Carter was "unlucky", All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said after the bruising encounter.

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer refused to criticise French referee Romain Poite and said the South Africans had no excuses for their first loss in the southern hemisphere championship.

Du Plessis was given his marching orders after his second yellow card, a minute into the second half, when he elbowed Liam Messam in the throat.

The unbeaten All Blacks, who now lead the championship, were also guilty of yellow cards to Kieran Read and Ma'a Nonu, but Hansen said he had no complaints about the refereeing.

"In an intense battle like that you're going to get moments and the referee makes decisions and he's got to make them in that moment," Hansen said.

"Perhaps Bismarck may have been unlucky on Dan's yellow card but he [Poite] probably got the other one's right.

"We've got no complaints. That's rugby and we've just got to get on with it and have a look at our discipline going forward."

Hansen described the shoulder charge that saw Nonu sent from the field in the closing stages of the match as "dumb".

The All Blacks also overtook France for the most Test wins, moving to 383, and also extended their records for the most test points (13,242) and most Test tries (1,726).

Hansen praised his players, the youthful and the experienced, for trhe win.

"It was a really intense Test match, one that had a bit of everything and I'm very proud of how we came through it," Hansen said.

"In games like tonight, you need your big players to stand up and they did, including the guy beside me [captain Kieran Read]."
But Hansen also highlighted the performances of the younger brigade and the likes of openside flank Sam Cane, lock Brodie Retallick and replacement flyhalf Beauden Barrett.