Published: 12:28 | 15/10/19

Hansen ramps up mind games


New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen says he may lay false traps for Ireland to fall into in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash in Tokyo.

The All Blacks coach always has lots to say about the opposition team and its coach before every match and, it appears, this time is no exception.

Ireland have defeated New Zealand in two of their last three meetings, most recently last November at the Aviva, and will be confident heading into Saturday encounter (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 10.30am).

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is well-known for his meticulous research and has promised a few new set plays against the All Blacks.

However, Hansen believes that he can lay a few traps of his own which could pay dividends.

"We've got weaknesses like everybody else, so you've got to look at your own weaknesses as much as anybody else's," said Hansen.

"You know that Joe does a lot of studies, so that can be a strength and a weakness. I might be able to set him up.

"The best part is we know who we're playing; they're a quality side, they've been number one this year.

"The last three results are 'loss, win, loss' so there won't be any complacency in our camp. It's pretty exciting; we're right where we want to be.

"It's taken Ireland a long time to get there (beat New Zealand) and obviously they enjoyed it. So they decided to keep doing it.

"I think there's a lot of respect from both sides. We played them in November and it was a titanic struggle and on the day they were the better side.

"Most teams we play get up to 10%  better than they normally do and they're no different.

"The big difference here is it's a do or die game for both teams. Both teams are in good nick; fresh, excited and, I can only speak on behalf of ourselves, we're really looking forward to the challenge.

"They're pretty set on how they play, just like we are; they play to their strengths.

"Conor Murray does a lot of kicking and they use Johnny Sexton to drive them around the park and their big forwards to carry and why would they want to change? That's been very successful for them.

"I think they're better than a one-man team but the 10 is pretty important."

Image: INPHO

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