Lions tour: Jerome Kaino forced to answer questions about 'cynical' play

All Blacks veteran Jerome Kaino has been grilled by northern hemisphere media following an incident that occurred during the first Lions Test in Auckland.

Following the match, Lions coach Warren Gatland accused the All Blacks of "cynical play", citing an incident where Kaino appeared to dive at the planted foot of halfback Conor Murray.

On Tuesday, Kaino faced the British and Irish music from the team hotel in Wellington, calling the accusations completely unwarranted.

"It's never our intent to go out and intentionally injure someone outside the laws," Kaino said.

"We play hard and we play fair, but that incident was a one off and it's never our intention to go out and single someone out."

As the seemingly angry northern media circled, Kaino was the only one they wanted to talk to, despite Ardie Savea appearing alongside him.

Admitting that he had seen the footage, the 34-year-old was straight-forward when asked whether he thought he should have been cited for the incident.

Lions have used Conor Murray's trademark kick as a tactic this tour.
Lions have used Conor Murray's trademark kick as a tactic this tour. Photo credit: Photosport

"I don't know, it wasn't my intention to hurt anyone or play outside the rules so I wasn't cited and I didn't think I should have been," says Kaino.

"Yeah I've seen it, reviewing the game, it's popped up on my Twitter feed about a million times so it's a bit hard to avoid it. I guess people have their opinions on it, all I can say is that it wasn't my intention to go out there and target his planted foot.

"It's never nice when you have things done to you outside the laws and the way we do things is within the spirit of the game."

It's the third such situation in three weeks that Gatland has accused New Zealand teams of foul play and comes after suggesting they were illegal scrummagers and illegally blocked players during general play.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said the accusations seemed to just be part and parcel of Gatland's tactics.

"We've had two weeks of a lot of noise earlier in the weeks," Foster said.

"You get used to it, it's part of the environment when you play a big series and this is a big series. We've been looking forward to this for a long long time and we know that the Lions have.

"It's generated massive interest here and overseas so there's a lot at stake and everyone's looking for an edge and people try and find that edge in different type of ways and I wouldn't read too much more into that."