Crusaders coach Robbie Deans insists Richie McCaw does not deliberately break the law at the breakdown.
McCaw showed against the Hurricanes why he is regarded as the best flanker in the world at turning possession over, killing it and slowing it down.
‘Canes coach Colin Cooper was furious that New Zealand referee Paul Honiss didn’t send McCaw to the sin bin in Wellington, but Deans lept to the defence of his captain.
“It’s such a split second thing and there is no doubt he is the best practitioner of his trade,” said the Crusaders coach. “It means he is often in a position to attack the ball and whether it’s deemed to be illegal or not, who knows. Given you put yourself in that position more often than others, you are going to get calls both ways.
“The thing is that he’s the best in the game,” Deans said. “He’s omnipresent and as a result he’s witnessed a bit more often. People think he must be doing something wrong but often it’s because he’s just too quick for others.”
The Hurricanes frustration with McCaw was evident when prop Neemia Tialata punched his All Black team-mate at a ruck.
Neither McCaw nor Deans would comment on whether Tialata should have been punished.
“I think it was just frustration after I had conceded the penalty. It was just one of those things. Let’s leave it out there,” said McCaw.
Deans said: “It was a pretty ugly incident but it’s happened and, as Richie said, we want to leave it on the field.”