Rugby: British media go cool on ABs after foul play

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 their cynicism."

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 Bradley [Davies]."

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.


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