Both Bledisloe sides admit they've 'never seen' that rule enforced
The most dramatic International rugby game in recent memory concluded Thursday night with a rare call by referee Mathieu Raynal that handed the ball – which then became the match-winning try, to New Zealand.
It was in the 78th minute that the Wallabies secured a turnover on their own try line and began celebrating what looked to be the defining moment that could win them back the Bledisloe after a 19-year drought. 39 seconds later, Bernard Foley was lining up a touch finder and was penalised by the referee for time wasting.
The call has inevitably split the rugby community, with some saying the referee’s warnings were sufficient while others claim the call was hasty and irregular.
“To answer your first part of the question,” Whitelock answered. “No, I haven’t had that (a time-wasting penalty) happen to me in a game, whether it’s for or against the side I’m playing for.
“You’ve got to make sure you’ve got a plan to close out a game whether you’re up by one point or up by more.
“Slips (James Slipper) and I have known each other for a long time, and he said ‘look we’ve just got to be better than that’ and he’s spot on.
“It’s something that they’ll review and look at it and they’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
The All Blacks veteran’s response was in keeping with the team’s most frequently used sporting quote: ‘control what you can control’ from tennis great Andre Agassi.
Whitelock shared a simplified initial outlook on the match:
“To get the win is what we want to do first and then assess how we got it.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and captain James Slipper faced a similar line of questions in their post-match press conference.
Both men were equally as blunt in their responses.
“No, I haven’t seen a decision like that at any level,” Rennie replied.
“I’ve played 120-odd tests and I’ve never seen it,” Slipper added.
“It would be interesting if that would be the call ten minutes into the game.”
Slipper’s comment about the timing of the call makes for another discussion, a point that his coach would later touch on.
“You’ve got to have a feel, you’ve got to have a feel for the game and the situation.
“If you feel a team’s wasting time, stop the clock.
“Let the teams decide the outcome.”
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