Kiwis 'clutching at straws' in criticism of women's Test warm-up: Nestor

Womens International
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by Beth Newman

Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor says Kiwi pundits are ‘clutching at straws’ in their criticism of the women’s Test warm-up process in Sydney.

Rugby Australia copped heat from across the ditch after the Wallaroos and Black Ferns warmed up outside ANZ Stadium ahead of last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup double header.

The move was part of an ANZ policy where any teams playing in the first game of a double header warm up on the multi-million dollar facility outside of the ground.

NSWRL Intrust Premiership sides completed their warm-ups in the same spot the day after the double header, ahead of their NRL curtain raiser.

The pitch is also used on NRL Grand Final day for teams outside of the main game, in a bid to keep the pitch in pristine condition.

Nestor said both teams were aware of the ANZ situation in advance and the Aussies had no issue with their preparation.

Dwayne Nestor has laughed off Kiwi criticism. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley“We were aware of it and the girls are really good,” he said.

“It wasn't a distraction at all.

“It was just, 'we're warming up here, this is how we're going to do it,' and the girls were fine.

“I find it quite funny that it's become such an issue because from our point of view it was just part of our preparation.”

One Kiwi scribe described the facility as a 'netball court' and suggested the treatment showed that Australia was unfit to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand are the two nations in the running to host the 2021 tournament.

The Black Ferns and Wallaroos played in front of a healthy crowd. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyNestor simply laughed off that notion on Thursday.

“They're clutching at straws aren't they?,” he said.

“One - we're not playing at ANZ during the World Cup and guaranteed the preparation for teams in the World Cup would be first class, there's no doubt about that.

“We're not going to run a tournament that doesn't provide that. They're clutching at straws - good on them.”

Sydney debutant Emily Chancellor said the warm-up spot had no effect on their side’s preparations or their Test performance.

“It's one of those things, you get told you're training outside you train outside,” she said.

“It's nothing to do with Rugby Australia as far as I'm aware, it's something that happens at ANZ Stadium.

“If it's the second game and we were playing in the main time slot, maybe something different but you've just got to control what  you can and training outside didn't make any difference to our performance, I don't think.”

The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns on Saturday August 25, kicking off at 5pm local, 3pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.