The All Blacks have received a predictably cool welcome in
London from the British media following Andrew Hore's hit
from behind on Wales lock Bradley Davies at Cardiff.
The main theme is one of disappointment, rather than outrage,
however. Many writers appear sorry that a team capable of
playing "beautiful" rugby have to resort to such ugly
tactics, but there is no doubt the pressure from the press
will increase in the countdown to Sunday's test against
England at Twickenham.
In a piece headlined "New Zealand play lovely rugby but they
are not lovely sportsmen", Eddie Butler, a writer for the
Guardian, said: "It is a charge that follows them
through the ages: the glitter of their skills is countered by
Former All Black No 8 Zinzan Brooke, now residing in Britain,
said Hore was "bang out of order", adding such acts had no
place in the game.
In a piece on the Wales Online website, Caroline Hitt wrote:
"We expect black magic from this great rugby nation but we
got the dark arts from Andrew Hore as the hooker picked off
the Welsh lock with a short-arm smash from behind.
"With the second row cupboard already bare, Hore knew where
to hurt Wales too, as well as a quite literally stunned
Hore's act, which came after Adam Thomson's two-match
suspension for his use of the boot on Scotland player
Alasdair Strokosch's head, was labelled a "cheap shot" by the
Welsh television commentators.
Many believe Hore, who has been cited, will be banned for
five to six weeks.