All Blacks assistant coach John Plumtree says that he felt the match officials missed multiple off the ball incidents during the 16-all Bledisloe Cup draw in Wellington on Saturday.
Plumtree asked the officials to keep a closer eye on the Wallabies in what some have perceived as an effort to game the referee for the second Bledisloe Cup Test at Eden Park.
Plumtree deflects attention
The All Blacks face Australia in Auckland on Sunday with the Wallabies coming into the match with legitimate complaints about the officiating.
There were two match-turning refereeing errors that came down in favour of the All Blacks during the 16-16 draw officiated by Kiwi ref Paul Williams. It was the first time a non-neutral referee had taken the whistle in a Wallabies and All Blacks Test since 1980.
Plumtree has insisted that the match officials let the Wallabies off the hook according to their video review of the match.
“That type of play on the field has got to be dealt with by the ref,” Plumtree told reporters in Auckland.
“There were several occasions where there were some off-ball incidents, but it has got to be dealt with properly on the field.
“I think we’ve got to be able to adjust to that and that’s probably why you’ve got a couple of senior players in particular pretty fired up about it.
“They see what they see, and if Paul [Williams] missed stuff, then he’s missed it. But if it’s a consistent habit that he’s seeing and it’s not being looked after, then obviously we’d be disappointed.
“If their [Wallabies’] intent is greater than ours around off-ball incidents, then we’ve just got to make sure we have a crack back at them.”
All Blacks don’t cry
The former Sharks head coach said that the All Blacks would adapt to how the match would be officiated and backed the team to come back and stretch their unbeaten streak at Eden Park to 43 matches.
“All Blacks don’t cry. We just get on with it and adjust to how the game is being refereed,” Plumtree said.
“That’s in every department and we have to adjust to how the game is being played.”
In 2019 the All Blacks rebounded from a 46-27 loss to the Wallabies in Perth to trounce them 36-0 at Eden Park and retain the Bledisloe Cup.
New Zealand and Australia are under the direction of new head coaches in Ian Foster and Dave Rennie.