Hore cited for Davies challenge
November 25, 2012
New Zealand's Andrew Hore attempts to shackle Wales' Jonathan Davies during Saturday's clash at the Millennium Stadium © PA Photos
New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore has been cited for allegedly striking Wales lock Bradley Davies during the All Blacks' 33-10 victory in Cardiff on Saturday night.
Hore appeared to catch Davies with a swinging arm as he entered a ruck in the first minute of the Millennium Stadium clash. Neither referee Craig Joubert nor his assistants saw the incident that brought a premature end to Davies game.
New Zealand called Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot into their squad earlier today in anticipation of Hore's citing, and with Keven Mealamu struggling with a calf problem ahead of their tour finale against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
"I am just resigned to the fact that he will probably get cited," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said following the game. "That's what happens every time we come up here...I think they think we're thugs or something, but we don't play different to anyone else."
Wales coach Warren Gatland was left distinctly unimpressed and said: "It does not look the best in the world. It looks like he (Davies) has been caught from behind. You do not associate the All Blacks as being a side that resort to cheap shots, and I hope that is not the case and that maybe it was an accident. Bradley was a big loss to us and it took us a bit of time to cope."
The International Rugby Board's recommended sanctions for striking a player's start at two weeks, with five the mid-range and eight plus at the top end. The time and date of the hearing, before the IRB's appointed independent Judicial Officer, has yet to be confirmed.
Hore's likely ban may lead to a yet another Test appearance for Dane Coles who was uncapped when selected for the tour but has appeared in every game so far.
"If it has to happen we'll be comfortable," Hansen said. "He's a young man who has come on the tour and done everything he's needed to do. He's been great off the park, he's fitted in and he's wanted to learn.
"When he's been on the park he's performed well and gotten better and better with a lot of his work. It's a little like losing DC and having to put Aaron [Cruden] in. I know Aaron's had more games [than Coles] but the expectation is when you pull the jersey on you have to play. We don't need him to be Andrew Hore, or Keven Mealamu, we just need him to be him and everyone around him has to do a bit more."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship