Dave Rennie has at least received some sympathy from World Rugby following last weekend’s heartbreaking defeat. Photo / Photosport
Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie says World Rugby agrees with Australia’s point of view that his side should not have been punished for time-wasting during the conclusion of last weekend’s test in Melbourne.
The All Blacks’ 39-37 win over Australia was laced with controversy after referee Mathieu Raynal awarded a match-turning infringement against Wallabies first-five eighth Bernard Foley for taking too long to kick the ball from a penalty with two minutes remaining in the game . The home side conceded a try to Jordie Barrett just seconds later to lose the match.
Immediately after the match, Rennie told media he would be contacting World Rugby to seek an explanation and clarification of the way time-wasting is officiated in test matches. Rennie told media on Thursday he had had a reply, though World Rugby itself is yet to issue any public statement.
“We’ve obviously been in contact with World Rugby around it and they agreed with our concerns,” Rennie said.
“We’ve decided to just take that on the chin and we’re going to move on. It’s seven days since we played that game, we’re a couple of days from a big game in Auckland, and that’s our focus now. We sought a bit of clarity and we got that.
“It’s not going to help us win on the weekend.”
Ian Foster, meanwhile, doubled down on his stance that the referee has absolute power on the field and players should follow their directions.
“The biggest issue out of it wasn’t time wasting for me. It was when the ref gives you clear instructions at some point you’ve got to listen to it. Otherwise, what’s the point in having a referee out there? That was my main point, “Foster said.
“Every team will find ways to slow momentum down at certain times but if there is a move by World Rugby to speed up the game and have less time wasting then we’re 100 per cent in because that’s what we want.”
Both sides will meet again on Saturday night at Eden Park in what shapes as a much-anticipated rematch, given controversy around yellow cards also played their part in Melbourne.
However, to win, Australia will have to break a 36-year hoodoo which has seen them fail to claim victory at the Auckland fortress since 1986.
They will be helped by the absence of All Blacks skipper Sam Cane, along with Scott Barrett, David Havili and Quinn Tupaea, who have all been ruled out because of injury.
All Blacks v Wallabies
Saturday, 7.05pm, Eden Park
All Blacks: Beauden Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papali’i, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock (c), Brodie Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot.
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ofa Tuungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa’i, Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sevu Reece.
Wallabies: Andrew Kellaway, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Lalakai Foketi, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Harry Wilson, Pete Samu, Rob Valetini, Cadeyrn Neville, Jed Holloway, Allan Alaalatoa, Dave Porecki, James Slipper (c).
Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Pone Fa’amausili, Nick Frost, Fraser McReight, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.