Rugby World Cup 2019: Newshub's Andrew Gourdie responds to Steve Hansen challenge

Newshub's Andrew Gourdie has defended the question that lit a fuse under All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, after Saturday's emotional loss to England in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

At the post-game media conference, Hansen invited Gourdie outside for a 'rugby education', when the sports presenter dared to quiz captain Kieran Read on the team's attitude heading into the knockout encounter.

"I think it's quite a disrespectful question to suggest the All Blacks turned up not being hungry," rebuked Hansen. "They're desperate to win the game.

"Just because I've asked them at halftime to get hungrier doesn't mean they didn't turn up hungry. There's a big difference and if you want to spend some time outside, I'll give you a rugby education on that one.

"To say that an All Blacks team comes to a semi-final of the Rugby World Cup, with the amount of ability and the history it's had behind it... to say it's not hungry, that's a pretty average question, I reckon."

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Photo credit: Newshub.

The next day, Gourdie was philosophical about the exchange.

"I think, when you consider the sort of start England made to this match - they scored early, they exploded out of the blocks, they were dominant up front at set-piece and breakdown, the sorts of areas you'd expect the All Blacks to control - it seemed like a fairly reasonable question to ask," he says.

"Especially when you consider that Steve Hansen has twice this year referenced his team's attitude - after the defeat to the Wallabies in Perth and again after a sub-par first half display against Namibia at this World Cup.

"As you would have heard, it really was his own words - he was asked what he said to his team at half-time, and he said he needed his team to be more hungry and more desperate before it was too late. It was his own words that provided the context for the question. 

"Let's face it, it's a question you would ask of any team, any coach and any player after a defeat like this on an occasion like this.

"Obviously, it evoked an emotional response at an emotional moment - that's just the way it is sometimes."

The All Blacks now face the task of regrouping for Friday's third-fourth playoff game against the losers of Sunday's second semi-final between South Africa and Wales.

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The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us at 10pm Friday for live updates of the All Blacks' third-fourth playoff at the Rugby World Cup.