All Black prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi should have been sent off for his tackle on French wing Remy Grosso, according to a former international referee writing in The Times.

Rob Debney also threw fuel on the All Blacks conspiracy fire, saying the world champions "seem to get away with murder".

Debney, like everyone in and around the game, said referee Luke Pearce erred in giving French lock Paul Gabrillagues a yellow card for an allegedly high tackle on Ryan Crotty at Eden Park.

Debney also wrote: "Pearce was wrong not to send off Ofa Tu'ungafasi, whose use of a shoulder in a double tackle on Remy Grosso left the France wing with two facial fractures.


"Yes, Grosso was falling in the collision but the onus is on the referee to make his ruling based on the outcome of an incident.

"Intent is not material in the decision. Did Tu'ungafasi's shoulder connect with Grosso's head? Yes. Red card."

Debney made no mention of Sam Cane, who also caught Grosso high in the same incident during Saturday's first of three tests.

Debney, a specialist assistant referee in his international officiating days, said: "Once again the conversation is being dominated by claims that New Zealand always seem to get away with murder.

"If I had an answer as to why there appears to be a leniency towards them, I would be a professor in psychology, but it exists on a sub-conscious level. The accountability for taking a decision against them, the scrutiny it comes under compared with other teams, is incredible."

 Rob Debney - says All Blacks get favourable treatment. Photo / Getty Images
Rob Debney - says All Blacks get favourable treatment. Photo / Getty Images

Debney said Gabrillagues had performed a 'seatbelt tackle', with one arm over Crotty's shoulder and around his torso.

"But his arm was nowhere near Crotty's neck. Pearce would have realised that, had he taken more time and checked the replay," he said.