Brumbies with 'please explain' for refs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has sought out SANZAAR referees boss Lyndon Bray over refereeing interpretations after their loss to the Highlanders.

After three wins to open their season, the Brumbies have fallen back to the pack, two points behind Australian conference leaders the Rebels and equal with the Waratahs.

While he couldn’t draw a consistent thread from those games, Larkham said the refereeing interpretation had definitely influenced that turnaround.

“There’s nothing that is consistent through those losses,” he said.

“There’s a number of different issues.

“Refereeing interpretation has been a major part of the results we’ve had in the losses.

“I’ve been talking to referees boss about that and we’ll have a  focus on that this week.”

Larkham said the side’s set piece wasn’t being rewarded and Larkham said a focus on attacking teams had hurt the Brumbies.

“Like I said before we think the way we’ve lost games, some of it has been strategy but a lot of that has been referee interpretations in favour of oppositions scoring tries and against us scoring tries,” he said.

“We build our game around quality set piece and feel that we’re not getting reward, that the referees are looking at attacking team rather than defending team..

“So, like I said, we’ve had a number of discussions this week and hopefully we’ll get a resolution out of that this weekend.

“There were a number of issues on the weekend with interpretations that didn’t allow us to score tries from what has been a strength of our game.”

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano said some of the responsibility had to be shouldered by the backs as the Brumbies look to make more of their opportunities.

“The big onus is on the playmakers and our nine so we’ve just got to get some good go-forward with good punch from our forwards,” he said.

“When we can get opportunity the backs really need to get up and take it.

“We need to make the most out of the opportunities we can get.

“We’re working on our combinations to attack well and get over our gain line

They will have an extra incentive to cross this weekend, with $4000 from each try being donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT.