New Zealand captain Sam Cane says fans who criticise his All Blacks don’t know much about the game of rugby.
Flanker Cane fired back at critics of the team’s recent performances, his captaincy and coach Ian Foster after they lost their second successive match in the Tri-Nations, and first ever to Argentina, last Saturday.
The All Blacks were beaten 25-15 by the Pumas in Sydney, a week after a 24-22 loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane and dropped to third in the world rankings – their lowest position ever.
The team was slammed by the New Zealand media and fans on social media afterwards, with calls for Foster to go and some questioning whether Cane is the right man to lead the team.
The 28-year-old Cane, however, has had enough of the criticism and says: “I think we’ve got amazing fans, but we’ve also got some pretty brutal ones.
“With that, you’ve just got to remind yourself that, ‘Hey, they might like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby, but really they don’t’.
“They may know the game from what they see in the 80 minutes, but they don’t see a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.”
He adds: “To me, if I am having my leadership questioned in public, people’s opinions that really matter to me are my teammates and my coaches, who I work with every single day.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence from them we’re on the right track.
“For us as a team, it certainly doesn’t help if we’re spending our time online reading hateful, disrespectful comments.”
The All Blacks have the weekend off to lick their wounds, with Australia and Argentina playing on Saturday, before they face Argentina again in their final match of the Tri-Nations.