Kieran Read: Ah yeah Shag, Boss, mate—just before you start—there seems to be a bug on my seat.
The listening device found at the All Black’s hotel in Sydney was surely meant for a high level diplomat, or some multi-national CEO type. It was, I thought, more likely to have been there since Putin visited Sydney for the APEC summit in 2007. Then it was reported the device was still active with a three day battery life: somebody was spying on our All Blacks!
Steve Hanson: Well just give it to Colesy!
Read: Nah, somebody’s trying to spy on us coach!
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The established media, alongside NZ and Australian rugby unions, have little more to say while police are investigating. The ARU have stated that implicating them is “completely ludicrous”—although there is no such thing as paranoia in this day and age. The Herald’s best guess is a betting syndicate bugged the room.
Hanson: Struth! Smithy, mate, how do we turn this thing up?! I’ve got some words for Cheika.
Aaron Smith: Ah… Ben?
Ben Smith: I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here, Shag.
Hanson: Nah piss off mate, where’s Conrad!?
The betting syndicate theory is a sound one. Australians don’t care much for rugby union. Participant wise, it doesn’t even feature in their top ten sports. It should have been an easy score for said syndicate: hear the team list and injury concerns before they are publically announced, predict any changes in the odds and profit. They may well have targeted the wrong team. The Australian’s confirmed they don’t carry out the type of security checks that found the device for the All Blacks.
Suddenly, Dane Coles leapt from his seat like a prize trout, mouth agape, plucking the bug out of his captain’s fingertips. With a gulp, the small electronic device would not be seen again until hours before kick off in the second Bledisloe test.
Upon learning of the incident only hours before kickoff—five days after the uncovering of the bug—NSW police queried why there was such a delay in alerting authorities. Steve Hanson addressed this question in a post-match interview: “The reason that we didn’t go there straight away was because we went through a process with the hotel and our CEO was away at the Olympics… he arrived and he needed to be spoken to and fully briefed on it … once he was fully briefed, he said ‘righto, we need to take this to the police.’” A likely story.