Steve Hansen had nothing to say.
We were told that before we could even ask him about the British newspaper's so-called expose on the "secret preparations" for Twickenham, revealed via a fleeting bo-peep at the whiteboard in an All Blacks team room.
A British reporter, invited into the All Blacks' London hotel to attend a media conference to do his job, betrayed that trust and breathtakingly reported private messages from within the closed confines of the team room.
No wonder newspapers are struggling. In a country where the now infamous phone-hacking saga has nearly brought the print industry to its knees, a so-called respectable broadsheet published what was essentially a beat-up of Mike Tyson proportions.
Yes, Hansen had nothing to say about the paper's tactics. And plenty.
He didn't want to comment because, no doubt, he didn't want to give this "story" any more traction than it already had.
Every one of us who has covered rugby for a living has glanced at such messages as we've passed team rooms on the way to media opportunities. But we also understand that there's a quid-pro-quo.
We're in the hotel to do our jobs, and there has to be some respect for space and privacy. Snooping really should be beneath us.
But the chap got the yarn, so I suppose all is forgiven. Know what the "secret preparations" revealed? That the All Blacks had told themselves they were "the most dominant team in the history of the world" and had vowed to "reach new levels mentally as a group".
Shock! Horror! The All Blacks were also told: "We are playing England - this is about history, about human nature." And so it went on. "On Saturday, don't moan, even to yourself", was one message and "lineout delivery" was identified as crucial while backs were urged to "use your shoulders, see both sides, and concentrate on your breathing".
Well, thank goodness for the art of investigative reporting.
Hansen is smart not to make a big issue of the intrusion into his team's privacy. To do so would serve only to justify the invasion, in a perverse way.
But secretly he's seething. These are messages that have a context only in a team room. Meant for motivational purposes, not for someone's voyeuristic pleasure.
But what he's best to do is adopt another All Black mantra: Don't get mad. Get even
- © Fairfax NZ News
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