The All Blacks have fired a shot at the Wallabies tactics and the refereeing in the drawn first Bledisloe Cup test, with claims of late hits and off the ball incidents.
Forwards coach John Plumtree was unhappy with the officiating, particularly around the ruck, during the 16-all stalemate in Wellington and he wants it fixed for this weekend’s second match at Eden Park.
The Wallabies dominated possession despite giving away more penalties and won the physical battle with the New Zealand forward pack.
Plumtree believes a lot of the Wallabies off the ball play was illegal and he’s disappointed the infringements weren’t picked up, however he concedes the All Blacks needed to adjust to the way the game was being called.
“There were some late charges, late hits, you guys saw all of that. That type of play on the field has to be dealt with by the ref. There were several off the ball incidents, but we’ve got to be able to adjust to that as well and that’s why we’ve got a couple of senior players in particular pretty fired up about it.”
Plumtree claims the Wallabies got away with a lot of dubious off the ball tactics, and he hopes it was a case of the referee not seeing the incidents, rather than letting them go.
New Zealand’s Paul Williams was in charge of the match in Wellington, and while the All Blacks haven’t laid any official complaints, Plumtree wasn’t impressed by the referee’s performance.
Nevertheless, he believes the All Blacks players didn’t do enough to match the Wallabies physicality and fight fire with fire.
“If Paul missed stuff then he’s missed it. But if it’s a consistent habit (of Australia) that he’s seeing and it’s not being looked after then obviously we’d be disappointed. But if their (Wallabies) intent is greater than ours in off ball incidents, then we just need to make sure that we have a crack back at them.”
Plumtree isn’t a fan of having New Zealand referees in charge of All Black games. He believes it puts too much pressure on the official due to the potential for bias and he’s concerned it led to the Wallabies getting away with some illegal play in Wellington.
SOURCE – RADIO NZ