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01st Jul 2017

All Blacks coach’s “slip of the tongue” has got a lot of people talking

Maybe it wasn't an accident

Darragh Murphy

“All credit to Wales.”

While it was very kind of Steve Hansen to congratulate Wales, he initially failed to acknowledge the contribution of players from the other three nations involved in the British and Irish Lions’ incredible victory over the All Blacks on Saturday morning.

The 2017 series is now tied at 1-1 thanks to the Lions’ 24-21 win at the Westpac Stadium, with the visitors benefiting from the first-half red card shown to Sonny Bill Williams.

Tries from Toby Faletau and Conor Murray make next week’s final test a decider and it’s been suggested that the mind games started immediately after the final whistle blew in Wellington.

As Hansen spoke to the media, it seemed like he suffered an unfortunate slip of the tongue.

But the New Zealand coach may just be far too adroit with mind games for it to be a mere mistake and supporters have suggested that his “All credit to Wales!” comment was actually a dig at Lions coach Warren Gatland.

Gatland took charge of the Wales side in 2007 and he has been criticised by some since accepting his Lions role for attempting to transfer his Welsh tactics to the Lions squad in New Zealand.

Some have even accused Gatland of being biased towards the Welsh players with which he is more familiar than their counterparts from England, Ireland and Scotland.

Some took Hansen’s statement at face value.

While others felt that there was nothing accidental about it.