Aggrieved All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has criticised the inconsistency of the judicial system governing their Grand Slam rugby tour, saying he was mystified that England hooker Dylan Hartley had not joined Keven Mealamu in being cited after last weekend's sometimes fiery test at Twickenham.

While Mealamu headed to Glasgow today to defend a head butting charge levelled after a collision with McCaw's counterpart Lewis Moody, rival hooker Hartley was celebrating his promotion to the England starting line-up for Sunday's (NZT) test against the Wallabies.

The duo's contrasting fortunes has irked McCaw, who argued Mealamu and Hartley should have either both faced a hearing - or neither.

McCaw was pinned in a ruck in the 65th minute of the All Blacks 26-16 victory when Hartley - the Rotorua-born rake with a chequered disciplinary record - clouted him with his elbow and forearm, an act that triggered a heated response from All Blacks enforcer Brad Thorn.

French referee Romain Poite did not take action, other than issuing a warning and then penalising Jerome Kaino for an unrelated infringement.

International Rugby Board citing commissioner John West, the former Irish referee, charged Mealamu with striking after reviewing footage of the incident but surprised the All Blacks management but taking no action against Hartley, a former schoolmate of Liam Messam who was banned in 2007 for six months after eye gouging England teammate James Haskell.

"That's the biggest frustration as a player, the inconsistency," McCaw said.

"I don't like to be bitching and moaning about it, but I'm surprised he (Hartley) wasn't up.

"I don't like people taking cheap shots, it's annoying.

"I think you saw what we thought about it by my and Brad's reaction on the field. The guy that's done the citing's decided differently."

Mealamu is latest All Black to queue before a northern hemisphere judiciary.

Sione Lauaki was banned for two games at the 2007 World Cup for a dangerous tackle on a Romanian opponent; in 2008 Tony Woodcock was suspended for a week for a punch during the Irish test and last year Daniel Carter was also outed for a game after being found guilty of a supposed high tackle - a verdict that still rankles.

Footage of Mealamu's contact with Moody appears damning although his defence team will claim it was a legitimate clean out at a ruck and the 82-cap veteran made contact with Moody via the shoulder, not forehead.

Teammates, led by McCaw, launched a spirited defence of the 82-test veteran though his captain feared the incident would not be deemed unintentional.

"I think everyone knows what's Keven's like and the type of guy he is.

"You know he didn't do that intentionally but when you end up in front of the judiciary anything can happen .... history shows not many guys get let off too lightly in this part of the world."

McCaw dismissed suggestions the All Blacks were targeted when touring the UK and Ireland, but said players had to be particularly disciplined.

"You've got to be extra squeaky clean," he said.

"You just can't afford to get yourself in a position where the citing officer's going to have a look because more often than not you end up in front of the judiciary."

On a more positive note McCaw is poised to equal Sean Fitzpatrick's record of 92 test caps at Murrayfield on Sunday (NZT) - and he will be in good company, with fullback Mils Muliaina likely to share the accolade.

"It is pretty special," said McCaw, who reflected on his first visit to the Scottish capital in 2001.

"We stayed in the same hotel, back then it was my second test.

"When you think back of all those memories and games .... to still be involved in this team and play the same number of tests as a great like Sean Fitzpatrick is something I'm pretty proud of."

- NZPA