Gerry Thornley: Time to address stampeding elephant in rugby room

World Rugby has vowed to tackle high hits, but is there a different rule for the All Blacks?

Head coach Steve Handsen defends New Zealand discipline as the All Blacks concede 14 penalties to Ireland's four at the Aviva Stadium

As usual, in the eyes of much of the New Zealand media and of course the team themselves, the All Blacks can seemingly do no wrong. The reaction in Ireland to the events of Saturday’s brutish bruiser in the Aviva Stadium has been labelled “bitter” and even “hysterical” and, what’s more, in “true Irish fashion”.

Well, at least now we know what some of them think of us. Having the temerity to beat the All Blacks was one thing. Complaining about some of the cheap shots and high hits seemingly quite another. But if the NZ media are bleating about others bleating about the All Blacks, then it probably means we’re on the right track.

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