Explosive new footage has come to light of Wallabies star Nic White giving French referee Mathieu Raynal an almighty spray over the contentious penalty that cost Australia victory against New Zealand in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test.
The All Blacks benefited from a highly contentious last-minute penalty to topple the Wallabies 39-37 in Melbourne and claim the trans-Tasman trophy for a 20th straight year.
'ABSOLUTE DISGRACE': Wallabies 'farce' leaves rugby world in uproar
The Wallabies had forced a penalty with just over a minute remaining but as flyhalf Bernard Foley went to kick the ball into touch, Raynal made the rare call to sanction the veteran for time-wasting.
It gave New Zealand a scrum at close range and they spread the ball wide for Jordie Barrett to score the match-winning try after the siren had sounded.
In a matter of moments the Aussies had gone from a famous victory and the chance to end their two-decade Bledisloe Cup heartache, to yet another year wondering what might have been.
The controversial finish to the match left many viewers fuming on social media, with fans and former players describing it as a "disgrace" and a "robbery" against the Wallabies.
White - who was acting captain with James Slipper off at the time - was seen venting his anger at the French official in the immediate aftermath of the drama.
In the previously unseen footage, White can be heard arguing with Raynal before accusing the referee of costing the Aussies the Rugby Championship.
“Nic I’m sorry, you know exactly what I wanted,” Raynal can be heard telling White in the post-match footage.
“I told you two times and then you still continue (wasting time).”
White insisted that Foley was in the process of kicking the ball into touch when the French referee blew his whistle, before letting the official know the significance of the call.
“I understand but he was just about to kick it out and for two seconds … mate, that just cost us the Rugby Championship.”
However, Raynal was adamant he made the right decision and said it was a lack of discipline from the Wallabies that cost them victory.
“I tell you, you first, because you are the captain then I tell to your 10 (Foley),” Raynal said.
“I’m warning him, I say ‘if you don’t play immediately, I will give a scrum’. So that’s not fair what you did at the end, you just run the time and you know exactly. If you think I’m not capable to give a scrum, you’re making a mistake. So now you know it.”
Iconic referee backs French official over call
Raynal was given the backing of refereeing icon Nigel Owens - who retired in 2020 as the most-capped international rugby official with 100 Tests to his name.
“Sometimes the unpopular decisions are the correct decisions,” Owens told foxsports.com.au.
“To be fair to the referee, he’s made a strong decision.
“This is strong refereeing.
“He’s clearly given warning, there’s a lot of time gone, the rest of the backline is shouting at Bernard to get the ball off the field.
“The easy thing for a referee to do here, which others may well have done, would be to ignore the time-wasting and let him kick it out 35 seconds after the penalty is given and do nothing about it. No-one would have had a go at the referee. So he’s actually made a strong refereeing decision.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said after the match that Foley was shattered by what unfolded after he had helped the Wallabies close an 18-point deficit in the second half.
He said that Foley thought the clock was off, so there was no urgency to play on.
"He's a bit bewildered and shocked by the decision," Rennie said.
"Obviously, he's had a great performance and he feels like he's let people down, he's gutted."
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