All Blacks coach takes swipe at Wallabies over 'contentious' drama

·3-min read
Pictured right is All Blacks coach Ian Foster and French referee Mathieu Raynal on the left.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster has defended the contentious call from French referee Mathieu Raynal that cost the Wallabies victory in the Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne. Pic: Getty

The biggest insult to an Australian rugby fan was not the farcical and controversial end to Thursday's Bledisloe Cup Test, where French referee Mathieu Raynal pulled a time-wasting penalty out of his derriere to cost Australia a famous victory.

No, the biggest affront came about 40 minutes later when All Blacks coach Ian Foster sat before the cameras and declared with the straightest of faces the Wallabies got what they deserved.

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"They were delaying the kick (for touch). He (Raynal) said time off. He warned him then he said time off and then he said to speed up then he said time on. Then he asked him twice to kick it," Foster said, somehow resisting the urge to laugh out loud.

"I understand there is a contentious nature about it but it was very clear cut from the opposition.

"Part of your game management is listening to the referee, and when the referee says time on, you have to play it.

"I thought the referee was very clear with what he did, and whether people agree or disagree, he certainly had a very clear mind about it”

"We've got to be very careful. People think that decided the Test match."

Ian, what do you mean by people think that decided the Test match?

Of course it bloody well decided the match.

If Bernard Foley is allowed to kick that ball into touch, the game is deader than SBW's commentary and Australia go one-up in the series.

We all head to Eden Park on Saturday week with the Bledisloe Cup on the line and rugby enjoying a rare moment in the Australian sporting sun.

Rugby world baffled by rarely seen call

This columnist communicated with a slew of former players, referees and administrators to ask if they'd ever been involved in a game where the referee had handed over possession for the little-known "kick without delay" law.

Not only had none of them witnessed it first-hand, they'd never even heard of the law being applied.

Good luck to New Zealand.

Wallabies players are seen here arguing with the referee in their Bledisloe Cup defeat to the All Blacks.
Many rugby fans felt the Wallabies were robbed of a famous Bledisloe Cup victory in the dying stages of the Test against the All Blacks in Melbourne. Pic: Ch10/Getty

They got away with the win and another Bledisloe is banked after just 80 minutes' – make that 81 minutes' - work.

But for their coach to suggest this was a fair and reasonable way for a game to be decided is insulting to the Wallabies and a stain on the sport.

Foster had the chance to call it out for what it was – a massive injustice on the back of the type of pedantic law slowly strangling the life out of a code once celebrated for its free-flowing exuberance.

It's left most Australian fans thinking the entire game of rugby is a waste of time.