All Blacks coach puts heat on refs, accuses Wallabies of off-the-ball tactics


Gardner was also in the firing line for missing a Rieko Ioane foot into touch moments before the All Blacks motored downfield and scored their first try.

Angus Gardner, an assistant referee in Bledisloe I, will take the whistle at Eden Park.

Angus Gardner, an assistant referee in Bledisloe I, will take the whistle at Eden Park. Credit:Getty

While Plumtree didn’t name specific incidents, a Harry Wilson hit on Richie Mo’unga could have been considered late. Then there was James O’Connor’s contact which tripped Jordie Barrett after his final pass to Marika Koroibete before a Wallabies try. However, O’Connor only made contact with Barrett after Ioane made contact with him.

New Zealand won the penalty count 14-7 and will need to win two of the remaining three matches between the sides to retain the Bledisloe Cup, which they have held since 2003.

Plumtree’s calculated airing of the All Blacks’ grievances has added extra spice to the second Test.

“There were several occasions where there was some off-ball incidents but it’s got to be dealt with properly on the field,” Plumtree said. “We’ve got to be able to adjust to that … and I think that’s probably why you’ve got a couple of senior players in particular pretty fired up about it.

Referee Paul Williams awards a penalty in Wellington.

Referee Paul Williams awards a penalty in Wellington.Credit:Getty

“They see what they see, and if Paul missed stuff, then he’s missed it. But if it’s a consistent habit that he’s seeing and it’s not being looked after, then obviously we’d be disappointed.

“If their intent is greater than ours around off-ball incidents, then we’ve just got to make sure we have a crack back at them.”

Despite going on the front foot initially, Plumtree then insisted New Zealand wouldn’t let it affect them.

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“But All Blacks don’t cry. We just get on with it and adjust to how the game is being refereed,” Plumtree said. “That’s in every department … and we have to adjust to how the game is being played.”

Meanwhile, the Wallabies are hoping to bring a similar level of intensity after the bruising encounter in Wellington.

While the Wallabies haven’t reported any injury concerns, the All Blacks are monitoring second-rower Sam Whitelock, as well as playmakers Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett.

Whitelock has suffered headaches since the match and is undergoing return to play protocols. Mo’unga copped a “stinger” and is still sore, while Barrett is back training lightly after being ruled out on the eve of the first Test with a minor achilles injury.

All Blacks reserve Anton Lienert-Brown, who worked under Wallabies coach Dave Rennie at the Chiefs, echoed the sentiment of other teammates that they didn’t match Australia’s physicality.

“I don’t think there was one person within the team who was too proud of what they put out,” Lienert-Brown said. “I needed to be better. Everyone is motivated to be better.

“Knowing Rens, I know how he coaches … I think the most disappointing thing is we talked about it all week but we didn’t meet their intent of physicality.”

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MRO hands down decision on Greene off-the-ball hit


GWS Giants forward Toby Greene has been fined $1000 for his off-the-ball hit on Reece Conca in their win over Fremantle on Saturday.

The incident occurred in the dying stages of the clash, with the impact of the strike leaving Conca winded before he eventually recovered to see out the match.

MRO Michael Christian judged the hit to be intentional conduct, low impact and body contact, resulting in the fine.

Matthew Lloyd said Greene should’ve been suspended for the errant elbow.

“This is where I don’t like the system,” he said on Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show.

“Zach Merrett’s hit on Jack Silvagni (earlier in the season) was less than Greene but because of the impact on Silvgani’s ribs, Merrett gets a week.

“This will probably be a fine but it’s worse, it’s off the ball and no player should have to cop that.

“If it’s consistent, he gets a week for that but we’ve seen too many players get off. I thought we were stamping out incidents like this but it hasn’t happen.”

Teammates Lachie Keeffe and Matt De Boer were fined $500 for other incidents during the match.



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Wests Tigers Joseph Leilua sin binned after off-the-ball ‘dog shot’ coathanger on Dylan Edwards in Panthers win


The Penrith Panthers have claimed their sixth win of the season against the West Tigers in a spiteful clash at Bankwest Stadium.

A late field goal and try sealed the 19-12 win for the Panthers, the first time the side have lost just one game by the eighth round since their 1991 premiership season.

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The match was in the balance throughout but the blood was boiling as it exploded late in the game.

Seemingly stemming from a moment when Luciano Leilua was hit high when falling to ground with 22 minutes remaining.

While it led to a penalty goal that evened the scores at 12-all, his brother and Tigers centre Joey was showing clear concern and anger after the incident.

But it saw an ugly moment when Api Koroisau went to apologise to Luciano and started some push and shove with his brother.

“There’s no need for that,” Anasta said. “I understand it’s your brother BJ but come on mate.”

Joey Leilua was clearly furious and it spilt over late in the game.

With two and a half minutes left, Leilua hit Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards with a high shot off the ball in an ugly moment.

“Jeez he comes up with some dumb plays BJ,” Anasta said. That is just so unnecessary.”

“That’s just crap,” Voss added.

“He needs to settle down, he has to go for that,” Anasta added. “He does some stupid things and he doesn’t need to. It’s been his achilles heel his whole career Joey, he just can’t control his temperament.”

Leilua was sent straight to the sin bin.

The match boiled over several times in the closing stages as the spite overflowed.

Post-match, Edwards said he was fine despite the ugly incident.

“There was a bit of emotion, I mean, two teams battling out for a win and Joey just had a brain snap there but what happens on the footy field stays on the footy field,” he said of the incident.

Leilua was slammed for the act, although Edwards bounced back.

While the spiteful end got the fans off their seats, it was a brilliant match as sides from Sydney’s west put in a thriller.

Although the Panthers scored in the first minute through Stephen Crichton, the Tigers were never going to hold back, hitting back with two tries of their own before halftime.

When Crichton scored his second, it was ripe for eruption when the powder keg moment happen for Leilua.

But when it came to finishing the game off, Nathan Cleary was mature, kicking the winning field goal before Edwards got the cherry with a long distance try to wrap up the win.



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