All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has revealed some of the mind game techniques he utilises on opposition coaches.
Hansen was speaking at a Circa Theatre fundraiser on Monday night where he was interviewed by former television presented Ian Fraser.
When Fraser raised a comment from former Wallaby Mark Ella that “Mickey Mouse could coach the All Blacks to victory”, Hansen responded with a dig aimed at Michael Cheika.
“They’ve got Mickey Mouse coaching Aussie.”
Hansen continued to chat about how he uses mind games to get under the skin of opposition coaches. For Wallabies boss Cheika, the Kiwi reveals that he uses the Australian’s emotion against him by not referring to him by his name, rather just the “Australian coach”.
“Michael Cheika, who by the way isn’t a bad bloke, he just gets a bit emotional, and as you well know we thought we’d get him emotional and take his mind off the job,” Hansen said, as reported by Stuff.
“The plan was not to call him by his name but just say he’s the Australian coach. Then he went on a tirade about not respecting him.
“I guess what we’re trying to do there is take his mind off the job and while I say he’s not a bad bloke, he’s got to control his emotions. I think he’s got a good side, he does a good job of the coaching, but sometimes he just lets himself down there.”
Hansen reveals that Warren Gatland was also a target during the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour but admitted that when the NZ Herald published a picture depicting Gatland as a clown, he had to ease back a bit.
“We probably had him where we needed him and then the bloody Herald made a picture of him as a clown, which I didn’t think was right, so I had to back off.”
In the same interview, Hansen revealed his admiration for Eddie Jones and also admitted it’s “good to see someone else” receive the pressure of expectation when chatting about Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt in the aftermath of Ireland’s loss to England at the weekend.