Wallabies coach questions All Blacks 'smokescreen' tactics

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie during training.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has hit back at the All Blacks and their comments ahead of the second Bledisloe Cup match. (Getty Images)

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has hit back at the All Blacks after accusing them of trying to influence the referee ahead of the second Bledisloe Cup match.

All Blacks assistant coach John Plumtree was less than impressed with the referee in the first match in Wellington.

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He claimed the referee missed too much off the ball, which favoured the Wallabies in the 16-16 draw.

“There were some late charges — you guys saw all that — and there were one or two other incidents, but All Blacks don’t cry, we just get on with it; we adjust to how the game is being refereed and that’s in every department,” he said after the match.

But Rennie, following the announcement of four changes for game two, said he was surprised the All Blacks went to the media with their grievances and accused them of using it as a “smokescreen”.

“In my opinion, we don’t need to air that sort of stuff through the media,” Rennie said to reporters.

“And why would we do that? Are we trying to influence the referee for the next game and that sort of thing or?

“You’ve got an opportunity to go straight to the referee, so I’m not sure if he’s appealing to the masses. I’m a little bit surprised by those comments.”

Plumtree failed to provide a specific incident, but alluded to the Wallabies tactics off-the-ball that irked him.

“There’s always going to be big talking moments in Test matches, and probably one of the bigger talking moments were some of the late hits, off-the-ball incidents and that. We’ve seen it all before in these Bledisloe Cup games, haven’t we?” he said last week.

Rennie makes four changes to Wallabies side

Rennie has made four changes to the Wallabies side as they look to improve on their draw in Sunday's Bledisloe Cup showdown with the All Blacks in Auckland.

Hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and blindside flanker Ned Hanigan come into the starting side, while Queensland duo Liam Wright and Jordan Petaia are new faces on the bench for the Eden Park clash.

It will be Paenga-Amosa's fifth Test and first against New Zealand, replacing Folau Fainga'a who paid the price for the Wallabies stuttering lineout.

Australia's Jordan Petaia passes the ball during a training session in Auckland on October 16, 2020.
Australia's Jordan Petaia passes the ball during a training session in Auckland on October 16, 2020. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

Hanigan will start at six, with Harry Wilson shifting to No.8 and Pete Samu axed, while Wright has taken Rob Valetini's place on the bench.

The starting backline remains unchanged, with Tom Banks holding on to the fullback jersey ahead of veteran Dane Haylett-Petty.

Game-breaker Petaia has overcome a hip injury but Hunter Paisami has held his starting spot in the centres.

with AAP