The All Blacks denied being paranoid as Wallabies coach Michael Cheika questioned the timing of the bugging scandal that marred Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup build-up in Sydney.
As police investigate the discovery of a listening device planted inside a chair in the All Black meeting room at their hotel last Monday, Cheika said he had no interest in sweeping Wallabies’ team meeting rooms for bugs.
“I’m not paranoid about it. Whatever happens, happens,” said Cheika, admitting he had much bigger concerns after the Wallabies’ 42-8 thrashing at the hands of the All Blacks on Saturday night.
“Really it’s not ever an issue that I’d be worried about, someone doing it to us because, at the end of the day, it’s one thing knowing, it’s another thing stopping (it).
“You can hear audio of teams on TV when you’re watching or whatever and lineout calls and you can know, but you’ve still got to stop (it).
“They (All Blacks) might be big on it. I’m not big on the whole thing. I don’t see why it’s that big of a deal.
“Whatever they want to do is their thing.”
Cheika, like the police, was more interested why the All Blacks took five days to report the bugging.
“I’m not sure why it came out on game day, when it was done on Monday,” he said.
“But it had no material effect on the game. It didn’t unsettle me because I don’t think they accused us of doing it.
“Until the day they say we did something like that, it’s got nothing to do with us.”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen explained after Saturday’s record-breaking victory that it took five days for the New Zealand Rugby Union to come forward because they were waiting for their CEO Steve Tew to arrive in Sydney from the Rio Olympics.
“He needed to be spoken to and fully briefed on it,” Hansen said.
“Once he was fully briefed, he said: `Righto, we need to take this to the police’.”
Assistant coach Ian Foster on Sunday took exception to the suggestion the All Blacks were paranoid if they felt the need to check their meeting rooms for listening devices.
“I’m interested you used the word paranoia, because I think you can kick that word for touch,” Foster said.
“All teams are protective of the way they want to go about things and so that’s just something we’ve done occasionally for obvious reasons.”
Asked whether the All Blacks would resort to similar security measures before the second Rugby Championship clash with the Wallabies in Wellington on Saturday, Foster said: “We’ll let you know if we do.”