Wed 9 Oct 2019 | 07:09

'Refs let All Blacks cheat'

'Refs let All Blacks cheat'
Wed 9 Oct 2019 | 07:09
'Refs let All Blacks cheat'
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: New Zealand have been labeled as ‘cynical cheats’ while their captain Kieran Read enjoys ‘diplomatic immunity’ at this year’s World Cup.

According to former Ireland No.8 Neil Francis, who has penned a column for the Irish Independent, the All Blacks “cheat with impunity and such breathtaking cynicism and referees let them do it”.

In writing about the All Blacks’  63-0 win over Canada, Francis, who played 36 tests for Ireland between 1987 and 1996, said at one point New Zealand “gave away 20 penalties, of which only one was awarded”.

Francis also claims that All Blacks skipper Kieran Read should have been sent off by referee Romain Poite while Beauden Barrett and Sonny Bill Williams escaped yellow cards.

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“This was for a head-first no-arms tackle by Kieran Read on one of the hapless Canadian runners. Don’t worry Kieran, you are the captain of the All Blacks, you have diplomatic immunity,” Francis wrote.

“In the middle of this phase of play there was a comic moment involving Sonny Bill Williams. The All Black centre jumped offside at the ruck but put his hands in the air. This very act automatically absolves you from wrongdoing. The referee cannot penalise you if you are an All Black who jumps offside but puts his hands up. It is in the rule book – the offside law article 5 paragraph 3.

“What is the upshot of this little vignette? First off Barrett should have got a yellow, Read arguably a red and Williams a yellow and Poite should have awarded Canada a penalty try.

“New Zealand are difficult enough to beat at the best of times but because they cheat with impunity and such breathtaking cynicism and referees let them do it, they are even more difficult to overcome.”

He added: “They cheat, they cheat, and they cheat! And they are let away with it time after time!”

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However, despite his criticism, Francis went onto say that the All Blacks willingness to push the limits in a pool match against a much-weaker opposition is what makes champions.

“In a match of little consequence to them, which they were going to win heavily against amateur opposition, they were prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to ensure their line was not crossed. That my friends are the difference between champions and pretenders,” he said.

Source: Rugbypass & @NZHerald

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