All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says while rugby has changed, World Rugby hasn’t moved with the times.
New Zealand beat France 3-0 in a Test series that was marred by contentious refereeing decisions, most of which went against the visitors.
The most high-profile incident saw France fullback Benjamin Fall receive a red card from referee Angus Gardner during the second Test, which an independent judicial committee overturned a couple of days later. World Rugby then sent out a press release saying that Gardner had, in fact, made the correct decision to send Fall off.
And in the third Test, referee John Lacy appeared to have obstructed France scrumhalf Baptiste Serin, who was unable to tackle All Blacks flyhalf Damian McKenzie, who went on to score a try.
‘I think it’s an area of the game that World Rugby need to take some ownership of and lead,’ said Hansen after the third Test. ‘I keep saying the game is not black and white. It’s a fluid game which is going to have grey patches and you can’t rule on it as if it is black and white.
‘I think they’ve set a precedent when Angus did everything by the book with the French red card and then they let him [Fall] off. They’ve now got to look at that themselves.’
Referring to McKenzie’s try, Hansen said, ‘Everyone’s telling us the referee’s cheating now because he’s helping us score tries. It’s just ridiculous. If anyone else had scored that try no one would have moaned about it at all.’
Hansen suggested bringing in a challenge system whereby coaches would be able to challenge calls made by the referee, saying he had brought the idea up with World Rugby years ago but it was turned down.
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