Hansen hits out at ‘boring’ lineout drives

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has called for a change in rugby’s laws to allow defending sides to collapse “bloody boring” lineout drives.

New Zealand conceded two tries from the tactic in their 39-18 Rugby Championship win over Argentina in Christchurch, both scored by opposition skipper Agustin Creevy.

Hansen said he wasn’t having a go at how South African referee Craig Joubert controlled the game.

“I’m having a go at the laws,” he said.

“He’s reffing it how the law says you can. Bloody boring, though.”

Hansen said he had been saying for years that he thought lineout drives were illegal obstruction and they should be turned into a fair contest.

“The easiest way would be to say you can collapse it,” he said.

“There’s never been anyone injured in a collapsed maul yet and there’s thousands of them every week get penalised, so make that legal and it becomes a half-pie, a fair contest.”

But Hansen also acknowledged that the rules were what they were and the All Blacks had to improve the way they countered lineout drives, especially with South Africa as their next opponents.

“We know they will scrum for some penalties, they will kick for lineouts and they will drive,” he said.

“So we will need to get better at it before we play them, otherwise there will be a lot of tries.”

One of New Zealand’s five four-pointers against Argentina, to skipper Richie McCaw, also came from a lineout drive.

McCaw said he noticed even in Super Rugby that teams were putting more work into making the manoeuvre a weapon and he expected “a fair bit of it” at the World Cup.

But he also indicated that lack of discipline put the All Blacks in a vulnerable situation against the Pumas.

“The two tries they got, yes, we need to do some work at five-metre lineouts,” he said.

“But if you look at how they ended up there, it was probably our discipline, back-to-back penalties, that put us in that position.”

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