Kafer criticises referees treatment of Wallabies

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Wallabies back and FOXSPORTS commentator Rod Kafer has slammed Romain Poite for his dealings with the Wallabies in the second Bledisloe last weekend.

Speaking on FOXSPORTS’s Rugby 360, Kafer said referees held a perception about the Wallabies side that meant they treated them and specifically captain Stephen Moore, more harshly in their dealings with the team.

“I believe that the referees have a bias [against] the Wallaby team. There’s a preconceived idea around what the Wallabies are like,” he said.

Kafer pointed to last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup, a game in which Wallabies coach Michael Cheika criticised the Poite’s dealings with his players, as an example of a double standard.

It’s the stuff that happens early in the game where Poite tells Stephen Moore to go away yet he’s prepared to have conversations with multiple All Black players throughout the course of the game.

“That annoys me because it’s not a level playing field. That’s the first one.

“The second thing is where Stephen Moore as a captain who is encouraged by the referee to be the only one who talks and the Wallabies were squeaky clean. No one else talked to him. Then Kieran Read comes over and goes ‘you don’t have to take i

"That is unbelievable to me.”

Former Wallabies prop Ben Daley said the Wallabies may be partly at fault for the different standards.

“The guys on the team through Super Rugby and the Wallabies haven’t done ourselves a service with the referees because you only hear a quarter of what’s said on the field,” he said.

“There’s a lot of frustration in the Wallaby camp and through the Super Rugby and whatnot, so maybe the referees have heard that, they’ve heard enough of it.

“Then when Stephen Moore comes up and has a chat to him, he’s thinking I’m copping abuse from the other players on the field.

“I’m not sure what’s going through his head but clearly he didn’t want to hear Stephen Moore at all.”

Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell said the Test players had been focusing on ensuring Moore and his replacements were the only ones speaking to the referee, after being criticised for their communications in the June series.

‘I think there's been a real focus to let all the communication go through the captain, whether it be Stephen Moore or whoever’s captain when Stephen comes off,” he said.

‘It’s a relationship that we need to keep working on. Obviously ,the referee’s changing each week - our captain's generally the same.

“Stephen just needs to keep working at it, we, as a group, need to back the decisions the referees are making.

“It didn’t determine the outcome of the match and if we start to get too bogged down in the referees and our relationships with them, our focus is going off what we need to be focused on.”

Catch Rugby 360 weekly on Wednesday nights from 8pm AEST LIVE on FOXSPORTS 2 502.