Now it’s the charge down the All Blacks are doing wrong.

Seems such a simple thing to do, too.

Consider the basics. Look at the bloke trying to kick the ball, raise your arms high so as to extend how much of you there is to block the kick, keep your eyes on the ball (easier said than done) and try to block it at source (namely, as he kicks it).

Not that difficult really, but Lions coach Warren Gatland reckons the All Blacks do it illegally. Apparently they are diving at halfback Conor Murray’s legs (which are connected to his feet which is what he uses to kick the ball. It’s rugby plus anatomy).

“It’s a little bit tough when you see someone dive at someone’s leg,” Gatland said after naming his team to play the final midweek match, this time against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

“You feel for the player and it’s concerning that they’re not trying to charge the kick down because they’re nowhere near it, they’re diving blindly and hitting someone’s leg.”

That’s a fairly hefty accusation and Gatland plans to have a chat with this week’s test referee, France’s Jerome Garces about it.

If Garces is a parent then Gatland could be in a spot of bother because he comes across as a child moaning that someone has taken his seat at the table.

To be fair, I have a measure of sympathy for the man – though only a little bit. He’s brought the best of Britain and Ireland on a mad rugby tour to New Zealand. Games against all five Super Rugby franchises plus three tests. It’s a hiding to nothing.

No wonder he is looking for areas to deflect to.

“If we think we can rock up and do we what did last time and that will be good enough, we will get a shock.”

Steve Hansen

Gatland has copped a fair bit on the chin, though, admitting after the first test at Eden Park that the Lions pack had been done over by the All Blacks in the 30-15 defeat.

He’s been pretty honest throughout the tour about the challenge the Lions face and has repeatedly heaped praise on the rugby played in New Zealand and the hospitality shown to the Lions.

But when he’s had a crack it hasn’t worked and Gatland has come across as a bit of a whinger.

First it was the scrums. Super Rugby players scrum illegally he said, and they’d had their comeuppance when the Crusaders lost to the Lions.

Then there was the illegal blocking of Lions players trying to take the opponent out in the air while he’s trying to catch the ball.

Sorry, my bad, the Lions were trying to contest for the ball.

Gatland’s also had a shot at All Blacks coach Steve Hansen for trash talking. Twice in the lead up to the first test he said it was time for the trash talk to end and for rugby to do the talking.

It’s a great line. One we, in the media, loved him for. But does it stand up to scrutiny?

Hansen’s been cheeky, he’s poked at the Lions game plan and questioned what tactics they’ll use in the first test, but he’s not stooped to trash talk.

Here’s an example from after the Samoa test when I asked him if Gatland will have been surprised by anything he saw in the All Blacks 78-0 win, and if Hansen expected to see anything new from the Lions the following night when they played the Māori All Blacks.

“That’s a bit of a loaded gun you’ve given me there Jimmy,” Hansen said. “I have to think carefully before I answer that.

“Like them we have a style we like to play and we use the ball a lot and we have some skilful people when we do that.

“Do I expect them to do something (in Rotorua), well he keeps tell us he’s got something up his sleeve other than his arm, we will wait and see won’t we.

“He’s starting to run out of time to get it practiced, but I’ve always said once you have a style as a coach and it works for you, you usually stick with it.

“So, it’s going to be a big move if he changes, we will wait and see.”

Not exactly trash talk. Cheeky and goading for sure, but that’s Hansen to a tee and he continued that after the first test when he praised the wonderful try flanker Sean O’Brien scored.

“When they can score tries like that first one, you’re sitting there thinking they should be doing that more often, because it’s one of the best test tries you will see,” Hansen said.

He’s not wrong. The Lions surprised most people with some of their attacking play at Eden Park and contributed to a superb game of rugby in the process.

The question now is whether they will have the same attacking attitude in Wellington.

Chatting with Hansen on Sunday I asked him if he expected Gatland to change his game plan for the second test.

“We will have to wait and see. His last one didn’t work, but it wasn’t far away either. It was a great test match. Both teams contributed to it really well.

“They know that we hurt them off nine (having runners off the halfback punching through the Lions defence) and they will look to stop that and they will look to tinker with their plans as we will look to tinker with ours.

“If we think we can rock up and do we what did last time and that will be good enough, we will get a shock.”

If that is trash talk then Gatland’s right. The All Blacks are deliberately trying to injure his halfback by diving at his legs.

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