Dave Rennie defends Wallabies amid 'disrespectful' All Blacks drama

·Contributor
·3-min read
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has hit back at claims his players disrespected the All Blacks' haka before the first Bledisloe Cup Test. Pic: Getty
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has hit back at claims his players disrespected the All Blacks' haka before the first Bledisloe Cup Test. Pic: Getty

Whoever the bloke is who's possessed Dave Rennie's body, we salute you.

The Rennie we're seeing this week is not the mild-mannered, stick-to-the-script, don’t-offend-anyone Rennie we've seen during his time in charge of the Wallabies.

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He's been replaced by an attack dog in a polo shirt.

The Hush Puppies have been swapped for Blundstones.

Rennie has blued about the time-wasting decision that cost Australia victory over the All Blacks in Melbourne, criticised the decision not to cite New Zealand prop Fletcher Newell and taken on the All Blacks over complaints Australia's forming of a boomerang and approaching the haka pre-game was "disrespectful".

Perhaps the Kiwi-born coach has lived in Australia long enough now that some of our 'take no sh*t' attitude is rubbing off on him.

Instead of turning the other cheek, Rennie is confronting the bully and throwing some mud back at the revered All Blacks, refusing to cop anymore of their crap.

The new 'no more Mr Nice Guy' persona first came out when New Zealand's sanctimonious coach Ian Foster got under Rennie's skin in the aftermath to the controversial first Test finish, basically saying the Aussies got what the deserved by wasting time and giving up possession in the dying seconds.

As one former Wallaby said: "Can you imagine if the same thing had happened to the All Blacks at Eden Park? Foster would have taken it all the way to the UN."

Rennie could have let the Newell incident go – the prop injured counterpart Scott Sio with an illegal clean out which went unpunished – but called out the inconsistency after Wallabies second-rower Darcy Swain was banned for six weeks for his "clumsy and reckless" attack on Quinn Tupaea.

But where he really turned up the gas was his revelation All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane mouthed off at the Wallabies for "disrespecting" the ceremonial dance before kick-off in Melbourne.

Seen here, Wallabies players form a boomerang shape for the All Blacks' haka before the Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne.
The Wallabies have been accused of disrespecting the All Blacks' haka before the Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne. Pic: Getty

The Australians formed a boomerang as the haka was being performed, gradually approaching the Kiwis until they were just metres away.

Ioane obviously felt the Aussies should have just stood there like statues and copped it.

"I was just a bit surprised that he thinks it's disrespectful. (Is there) an expectation that we just stand there and they throw a challenge at us and we do nothing?" Rennie said on the eve of the return Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on Saturday.

"As New Zealanders would know, when a team does a haka, you respond with a haka.

"We won’t be stopping that."

We don’t know who this new bloke is, but we like him.

A lot.

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