Aussie fans were left seething during the Wallabies’ controversial 16-16 draw in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks on Sunday.
The Wallabies made the worst-possible start in Wellington when the All Blacks scored the first try thanks to an inexplicable refereeing blunder.
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Jordie Barrett dived over for New Zealand in just the ninth minute, however the home side shouldn’t have had the ball.
Replays showed Reiko Ioane had put his foot on the touchline in the lead-up to the try, however touch judge Angus Gardner didn’t see it.
To make matters worse for the Wallabies, Gardner is Australian.
“What are you doing?” Wallabies great Matthew Burke said in commentary.
Fans were also fuming on social media.
“That wasn’t a try! Robbed,” David Taylor of the ABC tweeted.
Rugby journalist Christy Doran said it was “unacceptable” for the touchie to miss the crucial call.
On Angus Gardner's wing... remarkable https://t.co/K8oKkaj1sQ— Tom Decent (@tomdecent) October 11, 2020
What are you doing Angus Gardner?!?!?!?!?!?! #BledisloeCup— Michael Atkinson (@kinson88) October 11, 2020
How do you have one job as a touch judge and miss a player standing in touch with a completely unobstructed view. That’s incompetence. #BledisloeCup— Victorian Rugba League Fan (@LaTrobeSt_local) October 11, 2020
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The draw means the Wallabies still haven’t won a Test match in New Zealand since 2001, however many believed they were dudded.
Reece Hodge had a shot at penalty goal from 55 metres out after regulation time, however the incredible strike hit the post.
Burke was then left gobsmacked that the Wallabies weren’t awarded another penalty for ruck infringements after they regathered the ball.
Fans were also up in arms over the refereeing display.
Who thought having a kiwi 🥝 ref was going to end well. Like having your one mate with an ultra competitive dad ref your backyard game. Disgrace!!! Truly baffling inconsistencies. But @wallabies you couldn’t have been better and braver. We’re all cheering for you! #BledisloeCup https://t.co/gxBzYxeaw9— Conor Duffy (@conorduffynews) October 11, 2020
Shouldnt the all blacks be thankful for that refferee 'display'? 15 wallabies vs 16 ABS. Disgraceful #bledisloecup— Blake Ritchie (@blakus5) October 11, 2020
That's the worst refereeing display in a long time.Saw15 missed pen's in last 5min RT @wallabies: 80+ | Possession won back. We've got it on the half way line...— Derek Nickels (@dekmadforracing) October 11, 2020
🇳🇿 16-16 🇦🇺
Match Centre: https://t.co/pfiLBozUzY#NZLvAUS #BledisloeCup #Wallabies #YourTeam #OurJourney
James O’Connor kicked a penalty in the 63rd minute to split a 13-13 deadlock and it looked like it could be enough for Australia to break through for their first win in New Zealand in 19 years.
But veteran lock Rob Simmons gave away a penalty with two minutes remaining, allowing All Blacks fullback Barrett to level.
The Wallabies trailed 8-3 at half-time but wingers Marika Koroibete and debutant Filipo Daugunu both scored to put the Australians on track for an unlikely victory.
Playing the first of four Bledisloe Cup Tests, the Australians looked a little shaky early on.
The Wallabies kept busy, dominating possession and territory in the first half with halfback Nic White mixing up his game to keep the All Blacks on their toes.
But their line-out was again a weakness, turning over three throws.
It looked like they had conceded a try right on half-time when hooker Folau Faingaa spilt a ball which was picked up by Sam Cane, but Ioane blew a certain try when he lost control of the ball as he tried to put it down one-handed.
The Wallabies continued to build into the game, with their defence a highlight, giving All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo’unga no room.
The superb showing means the Wallabies can dare to dream of winning back the Bledisloe Cup, heading next to Auckland's Eden Park next Sunday on a high.
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