Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes had an awkward send-off in his last match in charge of the team after controversial details emerged about his pending departure.
Despite securing a Champions Cup spot next season for Ulster, Gibbes was visibly miffed at what he deemed was an inappropriate question.
Earlier this year, Gibbes was due to return home to New Zealand for 'family reasons'. However, reports emerged that the head coach had actually travelled to France earlier this week to visit Top 14 club La Rochelle about potentially replacing Patrice Collazo.
A reporter at the end of the match vs Ospreys at the weekend immediately alluded to the controversy with his first post-match question.
He asked: “What’s next is it Waikato or La Rochelle?” (Waikato is a provincial team in New Zealand that Gibbes also coaches.)
As you can see below, Gibbes laughed off the question and alluded to some packing needed around his house. He then attempted to steer the interview clear of the controversy and proceeded to praise the people involved with the rugby club especially his players.
“Before that, I want to share some time with the people I’ve worked alongside with tonight and celebrate what those boys put out there and man that’s awesome.
“Seriously we've been criticised throughout the year for performance and all that other garbage but I feel good about what they displayed today because that came from the group that came from within them and they should be really proud of what they showed today.”
The reporter was not content with the coach’s expert sidestep of the question, though and tried digging a little bit deeper.
“And you understand why people are criticising you why you were in France on a Thursday ahead of this game on a Sunday?”
Gibbes replied: “Not really you know I think if you look at it the question is probably did preparation get compromised? No, it didn't. It was a players' day off.
“The fact is, it was a bizarre game in that we had three weeks to prepare for this game anyway. There wasn't a lot of detail that had to be covered off on players down day. I've got a life outside of Ulster rugby as well.”
The reporter refused to take the hint and decided to press on with his line of questioning “Is there a sour taste in this relationship you leave Ulster with or is it good?”
Seemingly fed up with the reporter’s questioning, the visibly irked Gibbes responded:“Why would you ask that mate? I just said I had a great experience working with people, it's been a difficult year. There's no sour taste.”
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see where the Kiwi ends up next season.
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