World Rugby won't weigh in on referee chat debate

Referees Romain Poite (right) and Jaco Peyper have been criticised by Wallabies coach Michael Chieka. Photo / Getty
Referees Romain Poite (right) and Jaco Peyper have been criticised by Wallabies coach Michael Chieka. Photo / Getty

World Rugby is refusing to weigh in on the "who met who when" Bledisloe Cup referee wars.

Despite angry Australian coach Michael Cheika and Wallabies management firing a complaint into World Rugby asking the governing body to find out whether All Blacks coaches held any meetings with referees before last Saturday night's Wellington Test, UK officials weren't buying into the skirmish.

The Herald sought World Rugby's views but it replied: "We will not be making anyone available for interview relating to this matter. Should we issue a statement, I'll make sure you receive it."

Australian media and Cheika continue to hammer the drum in claiming it was "less than candid of All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to trivialise a meeting with South Africa's Jaco Peyper as only a meeting with an assistant referee rather than a referee".

Peyper was the only member of the three-man refereeing team in Wellington who spoke English as his first language.

He refereed the Wallabies-All Blacks Test in Sydney and met with Hansen and his scrum guru Mike Cron.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph took the side of Cheika and wrote: "Any meeting of coaches from one team with referees demands the Wallabies be invited to join in".

"Hansen's lament that it was a 'sad' Australian complaint is lame when he would have been furious if the boot was on the other foot. Kiwi outcry that the Wallabies went overboard with the rough stuff in Wellington last weekend is laughable," wrote the Telegraph's rugby veteran writer Jim Tucker.

"A shoulder charge, a jersey sling and some verbal and push-and-shove is hardly nuclear warfare when trying to rattle the opposition has been a tactic for more than a century.

"The fact that it did not work is not the point, especially when Wallaby Kane Douglas's face aggressively attacked the hand of All Blacks prop Owen Franks.

"The best sign was the intent of the Wallabies to scrap and be more physical because they will need that with accuracy to beat the Boks."

South Africa play the Wallabies on Saturday week in Brisbane.

- NZ Herald

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