All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has slammed British and Irish Lions counterpart Warren Gatland for accusing his team of using dirty tactics during their Test in Auckland on Saturday.
Gatland alleged that All Blacks players targeted Lions scrum-half Conor Murray's standing leg whenever he launched box kicks and said he would speak to referee Jerome Garces ahead of the second Test in Wellington this weekend.
“There were a couple of times from Conor Murray where there was a charge down where someone dived at his legs,” said Gatland.
“And I thought that was a little bit dangerous. And after he’s kicked he’s been pushed a few times, and pushed to the ground.
“It’s just making sure he’s being looked after and protected and not ?harassed after he’s box-kicked. So we’ll probably just get some clarity from the referee later in the week. “We can’t complain about the referee?in terms of the way he controlled the match.”
But an irate Hansen hit back saying he took exception to Gatland's comments.
"I guess he might be a bit desperate," he told he told New Zealand's Radio Sport.
"I'm not sure. I don't know why he'd be saying it."
Hansen said he was not surprised by Gatland's complaints but as a fellow New Zealander he did not expect that from his rival.
"It's predictable comments from Gatland, isn't it?"
Two weeks ago we cheated in the scrums and last week it was blocking and now he's saying this. It's really, really disappointing to hear it because what he's implying is we're intentionally going out to injure somebody.
"That's not the case. We've never been like that and as a New Zealander I'd expect him to know the New Zealand psyche that it's not about intentionally trying to hurt anybody, it's about playing hard and fair."