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Wallabies still reeling from Bledisloe blow up as official complaint lodged

By AAP
(Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

Five days after the dramatic Melbourne Test, Australian rugby remains consumed by contentious calls in the Wallabies 39-37 Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand.

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Rugby Australia has written to the sport’s global governing body voicing its concerns about refereeing given the late and questionable time-wasting call with the match in the balance last Thursday.

French referee Mathieu Raynal penalised Bernard Foley for holding up the game as the five-eighth shaped to kick the ball to touch with less than two minutes left.

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New Zealand rugby pundits react to one of the craziest ends to a match ever | The Breakdown
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New Zealand rugby pundits react to one of the craziest ends to a match ever | The Breakdown

Australia are still fuming at the decision, after which Jordie Barrett scored a try from a New Zealand scrum five metres in front of the posts to snatch victory.

A Rugby Australia spokesperson on Monday confirmed to Reuters they had urged World Rugby to take seriously concerns about officiating in general.

“We’ve been lobbying World Rugby for some time on this,” the spokesperson said.

Speaking to journalists on Monday afternoon, prop Allan Alaalatoa said he was unaware of Rugby Australia’s complaint but players were still hurting from the referee’s call.

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“We just got unlucky at the end there. There was definitely disappointment over the last couple of days and over the weekend,” he said.

“But we can only control what we can control and you’ve got to take the ref’s decision out of it.

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“As leaders, we looked at that moment and see how we can be better. Not only at that, but throughout our game, management throughout the whole game.”

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If Australia have complaints over the time-wasting whistle, the All Blacks are still seething over a first-half attack by Darcy Swain.

The Australian lock was yellow-carded for a dangerous clean-out on Quinn Tupaea which ruptured his medial collateral ligament in his left knee and partially tore his ACL.

Sanzaar has cited Swain for foul play, hauling him to a disciplinary hearing late on Monday that could result in a weeks-long suspension.

“He basically didn’t see it coming. He was a sitting duck. It was a bit of a free shot,” All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett told reporters.

“I feel for him because he’s going to be out of the game for a long time … we don’t like to see these sorts of injuries.”

Alaalatoa said Swain was “devastated for Quinn” after the game.

“There was no intention there to injure him the way that he did,” he said.

“We definitely as players… throw the arm around him because he’s probably copping a fair bit on social media.”

There was further disappointment for the Wallabies on Monday, with confirmation of a ruptured achilles to Melbourne Rebels flanker Rob Leota.

The Wallabies have now lost three squad members with achilles injuries in the past six weeks, with Leota following Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi.

The Wallabies’ Rugby Championship concludes with the second Bledisloe Cup Test on Saturday at Eden Park, where they haven’t beaten the All Blacks for 36 years.

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