Rugby Championship: Wallabies not concerned over Mathieu Raynal’s involvement in Bledisloe II

Colin Newboult

Australia scrum-half Jake Gordon is not fussed that Mathieu Raynal will be involved in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand, despite his controversial call last Thursday.

The Wallabies were unhappy that the French referee penalised fly-half Bernard Foley for time-wasting, which led to the All Blacks’ winning score in Melbourne.

Rugby Australia lodged a formal complaint to World Rugby over the game’s denouement as they succumbed 39-37 in Melbourne.

Running the touchline in Saturday’s clash

The governing body may therefore be unhappy that Raynal remains as part of the officiating team for the encounter at Eden Park.

He will be an assistant referee for the clash in Auckland, helping the man in the middle, Irishman Andrew Brace, during the match.

Although there is still a sense of irritation following a devastating loss which harmed both their Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup ambitions, Gordon believes that it is important they use it in the right way.

“We need to channel that frustration,” he told reporters.

“It’s pretty clear that we’re all bitterly disappointed for how the result finished. We’ve got to channel it in the right way.

“We really need to control what we can there. It doesn’t really matter that (Raynal is) going to be a touchy. If we play well for the 80 minutes, I’m sure we’ll get a good result.”

Disappointment won’t linger

Australia will make sure that the disappointment does not linger when they head to Auckland for the final match of the competition.

Back five forward Jed Holloway is therefore excited by the chance of facing the All Blacks at Eden Park, a place where the hosts haven’t lost a Test match at since 1994.

“I was full of nerves so it’s good to get that out of the way,” Holloway said.

“I can’t wait to go over there and to be a part of it and hopefully have a huge impact on the game as well. Collectively as a team we can’t wait. We’re chewing at the bit to get over there.”

Despite residing in third position in the standings, Australia could still win the Rugby Championship providing they beat New Zealand and Argentina overcome South Africa without too big a margin.

The All Blacks and Springboks are currently tied on 14 points, with the Wallabies on 10 and Los Pumas on nine.

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