Ref's call leaves Chiefs star frustrated
REACTION: All Black and Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown could not contain his frustrations following his side’s 17-21 loss to the Blues.
Sunday’s result saw the Chiefs extend their winless streak in Super Rugby Aotearoa to six and franchise record of seven straight losses.
Again a controversial moment decided the game, with the Chiefs pounding the Blues goal line in the final stanza before losing possession for a holding on.
The referee’s decision to award the penalty was arguably a 50-50 one with lock Josh Goodhue making the tackle but failing to release the ball carrier.
The Chiefs senior players were visibly upset with the ref following the call, with Anton Lienert-Brown pleading after the match for technology to be used to review such critical calls.
New Zealand Herald reported that in the post-match interview, the midfielder was adamant No.8 Pita Gus Sowakula scored under a heap of bodies during a late surge for the line and made his feelings clear about Brendon Pickerill opting not to consult his officials to check a possible match-winning try.
“In big moments, we’ve got the TMO for a reason,” Lienert-Brown told Newstalk ZB immediately after the final whistle.
“We’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of calls this whole year and when it counted, when we needed it, why not go upstairs? I was a little bit frustrated. In a massive moment, I think we’ve got to use the TMO.
“We are proud, we dug deep, but we didn’t get the win. That’s the frustrating thing. We need to be better in crucial moments. We had 10 minutes there when we needed to score a try and we didn’t. We’ll go away and work on that but I can’t fault the effort.
“These are like test matches and you’ve got to win big moments and we’re on the wrong side of them at the moment.”
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Warren Gatland was less animated in his post-match interview with Sky Sport NZ following the match, saying that his side is showing enormous character. He explained that a side not turning up would get beaten by a score.
“I thought we showed great character. A lesser team that goes through that is getting beaten by 30 or 40 points.
When asked about the final call, Gatland was diplomatic about the issue applauding the Blues for winning the game and praising the quality of the spectacle.
“I think that’s 4 or 5 games we have been there right at the end.
“The referee has made the call, it’s his decision. Well done the Blues, they’ve won the game.”
“I thought it was a good game on rugby.”
Source: Rugbypass & NZ Herald