Former South African Test referee Jonathan Kaplan believes the All Blacks got away with numerous fouls during the first Test against the British & Irish Lions.
South African Jaco Peyer was in charge of the match in Auckland, which the hosts won 30-15. While the New Zealand press praised Peyer for his performance, the UK press were critical of him, with Sunday Times writer Stephen Jones saying that 'Peyper was a walking, whistling disaster area'.
Jérôme Garcès will referee the second Test in Wellington on Saturday, and Kaplan said the Frenchman would need to focus on the post-tackle area.
'Not enough attention is being given to attacking players not acting within the law – for example, there were numerous clean-outs by the All Blacks from the side of the tackle,' Kaplan wrote.
'While I don't see many referees penalising this, as it ruins continuity, it is illegal. In addition, they are also tackling players who are not interested in taking part in the possible ruck.
'This happened a few times in the first 20 minutes of the second half, which is, coincidentally, when the game was won and lost. I brought this point up prior to the tour, and games are decided by the holes created by this type of action.'
Kaplan said assistant referees should be helping the referee out more, and that they should have said something when the All Blacks dragged down a maul.
'The All Blacks dropped a maul 5m from their tryline, just after half-time, with no consequence. This was a crucial time with the scores still pretty close, and it represented a wonderful attacking opportunity for the Lions,' Kaplan said.
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