'How's that a knock on': Bledisloe Cup refs called into question
The match officials of the opening Bledisloe Cup test have been called into question following a dubious knock on call against the Wallabies.
In perhaps the sole highlight of a dire, error-ridden first half at Eden Park in Auckland, Wallabies fullback Tom Banks was left red-faced when he attempted to field a lengthy punt from the All Blacks near his own 22.
Instead of making what would normally be a mandatory catch, though, Banks misjudged the flight of the ball as he battled with strong gusts of wind.
As a result, the ball ricocheted off the 27-year-old’s face and bounced to the ground, leaving first-five Noah Lolesio to pick up the scraps and boot it clear.
However, referee Paul Williams called play back for a knock on, much to the bemusement of not only Banks, but also plenty of onlookers on Twitter.
— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) August 7, 2021
Fans took to the social media platform to voice their displeasure over Williams’ decision, with one user highlighting how the All Blacks get “the rub of the green” from match officials.
All blacks just get the rub of the green. How’s that a knock on when it comes off your face #NZLvAUS
— Jack Martin (@JackMartin2100) August 7, 2021
— Jøsiah del Rey (@vivajosiah) August 7, 2021
It hit his head #NZLvAUS
— Still No Donda///Messi 2 Chelsea (@Yeezy77_) August 7, 2021
Others saw the humorous side of Banks’ misfortune, of which one fan described as “the mother of all falcons”.
The mother of all falcons #NZLvAUS
— Phillip Hayward (@phillipchayward) August 7, 2021
Probably need an HIA after a falcon off a 50 metre punt! #NZLvAUS
— Huw Tindall (@HuwTindall) August 7, 2021
— twit.i.am.d_q_[…] (@ApocryphalLogic) August 7, 2021
After scoring a try via rookie wing Andrew Kellaway late in the first half, the Wallabies conceded a try to Sevu Reece on the stroke of half-time to leave them eight points astray with the scoreline reading 16-8 at the break.
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