Richie McCaw, Australia’s favourite topic when things go pear-shaped on their side of the Tasman Sea, is back in the headlines.
Not surprising the Wallabies are pointing fingers at McCaw, regarded as a serial offender at the breakdown, for repeatedly illegally entering rucks and for not staying on his feet – denying them try–scoring opportunities as a result.
Christian Lealiifano kept Australia in touch with four first-half penalties in the 29-47 defeat in the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney at the weekend, but the Wallabies are aggrieved over what they feel were deliberate infringing at the breakdown.
“All those penalties were in the same part of the field. As soon as we got in their half, it was a penalty,” lamented Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.
“So you’re having a shot at goal and then – guess what? – you’re receiving a kick-off again and you’re back playing in your own half.
“We didn’t spend a lot of time playing much rugby. It was a penalty, bang, yeah we kicked it and we got three points for it, but we were never able to play much.
“You’d like to get a bit more momentum, but we didn’t get that.”
Australian captain James Horwill continually demanded referee Craig Joubert take sterner action and use the sin bin for repeat offences, but to no avail.
“They were for the same thing in the same spot, so I was just letting him know that they were building up and that there was a bit of a pattern to it,” Horwill said.
“When we got down there holding the ball, there were infringements made and that’s for his call to be made.”
McKenzie said such antics are an ongoing problem and officials need to consider using the sin bin more often.
“You miss the opportunity to attack and play in front of the goal posts,” he said.
“If they give away penalties, then yellow cards come in because it becomes repeated infringements.
“It’s one of those issues. It’s been there all year. So it’s up to the referees about when they make those decisions.”
Source: NZ Newswire