Brumbies

McCaw: Brilliant player or Cheat

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As reported by Rugbyenews.com there is a war of words happening this week against Crusaders openside Richie McCaw who is emerging from a storm of media controversy in New Zealand after Hurricanes players and coaching staff were openly critical of his breakdown tactics.

The All Black captain-elect is undoubtedly one of the leading exponents of the art of snaffling and disrupting opposition ball, one of the fundamental requirements of his position, and is widely considered the most outstanding tearaway in world rugby of recent years.


However in this year’s Super 14 he has attracted the referees’ whistle with arguably more regularity than usual.


Towards the final stanzas at the Cake Tin the trailing Hurricanes were reaching boiling point as McCaw was repeatedly pinged by ref Paul Honiss and murder seemed to be foremost on prop Neemia Tialata’s mind when he lost the plot and grabbed McCaw by the throat.


McCaw’s All Black mate and Hurricanes No 8 enforcer Jerry Collins also directed some aggression, albeit more humorously, McCaw’s way throwing the ball against his head at one point.


Coach Colin Cooper pointed at a penalty count that read 12-4 against the Crusaders and singled out McCaw saying he thought the popular Canterbury star got favoured treatment from refs. Cooper isn’t the first coach to take issue with the Crusaders tactics at ruck time. Chiefs coach Ian Foster also made some pointed remarks after his side lost in round five.


Crusaders coach Robbie Deans was quick to defend his star flanker saying he felt there was “an element of gamesmanship, an element of trying to seek advantage.” Deans believes opposition players try to disrupt McCaw by influencing the referee.

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