Planet Rugby

Australia

Australia

Good luck, Monsieur Poite!

22nd August 2014 20:29

Share:

Romain Poite

Centre of attention: Romain Poite

The All Blacks and Wallabies sought pre-match talks with referee Romain Poite on Friday as they try to avoid giving away penalties in their highly-anticipated return Rugby Championship Test.

With both sides smarting from last week's 12-12 draw in Sydney, the respective head coaches were keen to minimise any uncertainty in Auckland.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has already claimed an apology from last week's ref, South African Jaco Peyper, for a series of debatable calls, including one yellow card.

"I've seen Steve's interpretation of what the referee said so if there's talk about free kicks at scrum time there were only three free kicks against the All Blacks but there were still 14 penalties against them in the game", said Wallabies boss Ewen McKenzie .

"It depends on which bit you want to look at. So we'll talk about the scrums."

McKenzie arguably has more to fear from Poite, who is seen to favour the dominant pack and was severe on the Wallabies in last year's deciding British and Irish Lions Test.

The All Blacks, who fell one short of a record 18th Test win last week, have played five internationals with the Frenchman in charge and never lost.

The Australian coach said he would be talking to Poite and last week's referee Peyper, who is also in Auckland as an assistant referee for the Saturday's Test.

He said the Wallabies were also unhappy with some of Peyper's decisions in a rain-soaked Sydney, but added "teams have to look at themselves over time rather than look at one game".

And he warned that Australia would not be cowed by their record at Eden Park, the All Blacks' spiritual home, where they have not won a game since 1986.

"They were going for a world record last week and didn't get there," said McKenzie.

"We know what they're capable of. They're a very consistent side and have been the most consistent team for 100 years, we know that. It doesn't mean they win every game."

Hansen said he would also try to clarify points of the law with Poite as the All Blacks seek to re-establish supremacy and lock up the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup for the 13th year in a row.

Captain Richie McCaw said the home side were hoping to step up a gear after last week's game, which they were lucky to escape with a draw.

"It felt like a loss after the game," said McCaw.

"We want to make sure we come out and do better this week."

The Wallabies will field an unchanged side while the All Blacks have changed three for a Test which is forecast to be played in dry weather and hard ground.

Injured centre Ma'a Nonu has been replaced by Ryan Crotty, in his first Test start, partnering Conrad Smith who was absent last week attending the birth of his son.

Liam Messam comes in for the injured Jerome Kaino in the forwards.

Although the Australians have not won at Eden Park since before most of the current players were born, captain Michael Hooper said not having experienced the fortress was a good thing.

"We're thinking about the improvements we can make on the field rather than the whole picture going around it," he said.

  • Australia Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
Saturday , November 8
Wales vs Australia14:30
Saturday , November 15
France vs Australia20:00
Saturday , November 22
Ireland vs Australia16:30
Saturday , November 29
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
  • Australia Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
Argentina 21 - 17 Australia
Saturday , September 27
South Africa 28 - 10 Australia
Saturday , September 13
Australia 32 - 25 Argentina
Saturday , September 6
Australia 24 - 23 South Africa
More Rugby Championship results
  • Table
Rugby Championship Table
PosTeamPPts
1New Zealand622
2South Africa619
3Australia611
4Argentina67