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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

All Blacks coach Hansen keen to move on after accepting controversial call

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has already accepted the contentious call by referee Romain Poite, who overturned his original decision to award a potential match-winning penalty for the home side against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday.

New Zealand captain Kieran Read, centre right, talks with referee Roman Poite at the end of the third and final Test between the British & Irish Lions and the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, July 8, 2017. The game ended in a 15 all draw and the series was tied at one Test all.
New Zealand captain Kieran Read, centre right, talks with referee Roman Poite at the end of the third and final Test between the British & Irish Lions and the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, July 8, 2017. The game ended in a 15 all draw and the series was tied at one Test all.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has already accepted the contentious call by referee Romain Poite, who overturned his original decision to award a potential match-winning penalty for the home side against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday.

With the scores locked at 15-15 and less than two minutes remaining, Poite initially awarded the All Blacks a penalty when he deemed that replacement hooker Ken Owens was offside when one of his own players dropped a kick off into his hands.

The penalty, had it stood, would have given Beauden Barrett a routine kick at goal from in front to both win the match and clinch the three-match series.

Poite, however, stopped the clock and decided to discuss the decision with his assistants Jerome Garces and Jaco Peyper, as well as television official George Ayoub.

The discussion ended with the French official deciding that Owens was accidentally offside and awarded an attacking scrum to the All Blacks instead. The Lions were then able to hold off a late New Zealand surge as the series ended 1-1.

"It's a tough game to ref and we all know what happened and we all know what should have happened," Hansen told reporters. "And at the end of the day, it's a game and as little kids we're taught that we have to live with it.

"We are accepting with whatever decisions were made. It's the decision the ref has made and we will live with it."

READ MORE: Captains 'speechless' after drawn third Test

Despite trying to avoid the question throughout his post-match news conference, Hansen compared the decision to the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Scotland.

The Wallabies were awarded a late penalty by referee Craig Joubert when he adjudged the ball to have touched a Scotland player in an offside position, even though replays showed it had ricocheted off Australian scrum-half Nick Phipps first.

Joubert did not consult the television official and Bernard Foley stepped up to slot the penalty that gave the Wallabies a 35-34 victory and a semi-final spot against Argentina.

"I go back to the World Cup and Scotland missed out because they didn't use the video," Hansen said. "This time they did and had a powwow.

"What we would've liked is play on and we would've scored under the posts. I'd have liked that.

"His initial instincts were a penalty. He spoke to his team and one of them said it was accidental.

"We can't change that. If we scored another try we wouldn't be having this discussion."

Lions coach Warren Gatland said he thought drawing with the back-to-back world champions in their own backyard was an "unbelievable achievement" for his players, especially as so many people had predicted a 3-0 blackwash.

"I think both teams would have been frustrated but if you'd said six weeks ago come to New Zealand and get a draw, you'd have taken that," he said.

"The result is probably a fair reflection of where the tour is at."

New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

New Zealand 15
Tries: Laumape, J Barrett
Conversions: B Barrett
Penalties: B Barrett

British & Irish Lions 15
Penalties: Farrell (4), Daly