All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has characterized Michael Cheika as “Mickey Mouse” and criticised the wallabies coach’s uncontrolled emotional outbursts.
Hansen made remarks after being questioned about Australian great Mark Ella’s comment in 2016 that “Mickey Mouse could coach the All Blacks to victory” because of the quality of the players at Hansen’s disposal.
In a strongly pointed barb at his rival coach ahead of the World Cup, Hansen responded by saying: “They’ve got Mickey Mouse coaching Aussie.”
The 2015 World Cup-winning coach went on to detail some of the ways the All Blacks have tried to get under Cheika’s skin in their recent encounters.
“Michael Cheika, who by the way isn’t a bad bloke, he just gets a bit emotional, and as you well know we thought we’d get him emotional and take his mind off the job,” he said.
Hansen, who will step down after the World Cup in Japan this year, said it was possible to distract Cheika by using niggling ploys like refusing to use his name before matches
“The plan was not to call him by his name but just say he’s the Australian coach. Then he went on a tirade about not respecting him.
“I guess what we’re trying to do there is take his mind off the job and while I say he’s not a bad bloke, he’s got to control his emotions. I think he’s got a good side, he does a good job of the coaching, but sometimes he just lets himself down there.”