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'We need to channel that frustration': Raynal returns for Auckland Test

SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies have no issue with French referee Mathieu Raynal officiating their rematch with the All Blacks even as they still fume from late decisions in their opening Bledisloe Cup defeat.


Raynal has been appointed as an assistant for Saturday’s Rugby Championship decider at Auckland’s Eden Park, with Irishman Andrew Brace in the middle.

Wallabies pair Jake Gordon and Jed Holloway said the side was still smarting from the manner of the 37-39 defeat, which hinged on Raynal’s timewasting call with less than two minutes remaining.

Asked whether the best response was to move on from the episode or use the pain as preparation for the trip to New Zealand, Gordon was emphatic.

“We need to channel that frustration,” he said.

“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.”


The story continues below…

Motivation is not in short supply for Dave Rennie’s side as they set out to end a 36-year Eden Park drought against the All Blacks.

Holloway will suit up for his first Test as a Wallaby at New Zealand’s House of Pain, grateful for a first hit-out against the Kiwis last week.

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

There will be changes to both sides.

Quinn Tupaea is set for a long spell on the sidelines after a nasty challenge from Darcy Swain that could see the Wallabies lock suspended.

Swain faces a SANZAAR disciplinary hearing late on Wednesday to learn his fate.

Gordon also said emerging playmaker Noah Lolesio had overcome a concussion suffered against South Africa and was back training.

Whether Rennie will switch out Bernard Foley, who was exceptional until his involvement in the late timewasting drama in Melbourne, remains to be seen.

There are concerns too for David Havili and All Blacks skipper Sam Cane, who suffered head knocks in Melbourne, and are undergoing World Rugby’s head impact assessment (HIA) protocols.

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