World Cup pundit labels New Zealand 'cheats' and claims they have 'diplomatic immunity' in scathing attack

New Zealand v Canada - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group B

Outspoken Irish pundit Neil Francis has sounded off about his perceived feeling of privileged treatment towards New Zealand

Ireland could potentially face the current world champions in a World Cup quarter-final, but the former forward has labelled them "cynical cheats".

He showed particular distaste towards the captain of New Zealand Kieran Read, claiming he had "diplomatic immunity."

Often cynical about Irish Rugby in the past, the former Leinster player has instead sounded off about the All Blacks, using his analysis of their 63-0 Pool B win over Canada.

In an article published by the Irish Independent, he stated: "The game was over after 20 minutes as the All Blacks led 21-0. Somebody should sound the hooter, and everyone can go and have a few extra-cold beers.

"The All Black line was back in a millisecond because even in a turkey shoot they act and play as if their very lives depend on them being there to protect their line and so they were waiting for the Canadians with meat cleavers and baseball bats.

"The Canadians went 12 phases and got driven back 10 metres.

"In that time the All Blacks gave away 20 penalties, of which only one was awarded. This was for a head-first no-arms tackle by Kieran Read on one of the hapless Canadian runners."

Beauden Barrett came in for personal criticism too, as he took a shot at the Blues player, paying particular interest to a run from Canada No.10 Peter Nelson that was eventually thwarted by the full-back.


He added that after a tackle, "Barrett rolled over onto his side of the tackle area - it was the only law he observed in the next 15 seconds.

"He did not get back onto his feet; he did not detach from the tackled player, he flopped on Nelson, never made any attempt to roll away and kept his hands on the ball for 15 seconds. Five penalties rolled into one.

"He didn't budge even when the cavalry arrived and tried to drive him off the ball carrier."

The pundit even reserved direct criticism for the referee Romain Poite, declaring: "This man picks up every infraction of the rule book, and a few others that he thinks up himself when officiating teams filled with lesser mortals, but a metre away from play and he is oblivious to an act of larceny.

"What is the upshot of this little vignette? First off Barrett should have got a yellow, Read arguably a red and Williams a yellow and Poite should have awarded Canada a penalty try.


To finish off his article, he showed his displeasure for New Zealand Rugby by comparing them scoring a try to the death of a grandmother.

"If the choice is to either prevent the All Black try line being breached or preventing your sweet, wonderful 90-year-old grandmother being torn to pieces by a pack of wild dogs, I feel the term 'our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of dear Ellie at this time' would be trotted out.

"New Zealand are difficult enough to beat at the best of times, but because they cheat with impunity and such breath-taking cynicism and referees let them do it, they are even more difficult to overcome.

They cheat, they cheat, and they cheat! And they are let away with it time after time!

Francis - who won 36 caps for his country - may have handed a psychological victory to the three-time world champions following his remarks.

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