The Courier-Mail

Wal­la­bies want ref to cut down NZ stall pop­pies

- IAIN PAYTEN

THE Wal­la­bies hope ref­eree Nigel Owens will po­lice All Blacks “loi­ter­ing” that saw frus­trated half­back Nick Phipps blow his radar and his stack in Syd­ney.

Phipps has en­dured a week of crit­i­cism af­ter a rough night and a trip to the sin bin dur­ing the Wal­la­bies’ 27-19 win, a public re­sponse ex­ac­er­bated by the match­win­ning cameo of his re­place­ment Nic White.

Coach Michael Cheika will name his side to­day and ei­ther could start, with Phipps ex­on­er­ated by coach­ing staff for his strug­gle to link with No.10 Bernard Fo­ley given the rou­tine in­ter­fer­ence of All Blacks de­fend­ers at the back of the ruck.

Cheika first pointed to the is­sue when de­fend­ing Phipps af­ter the game.

“I don’t think the com­bi­na­tion didn’t work, I thought we had a few er­ratic passes. That of­ten comes from the ruck,” Cheika said.

“Of­ten we found a black jersey in be­tween the ruck and the half­back. Nick Phipps wasn’t quite sure whether he should ruck that guy or step over and pass the ball from there, and it did cause him a few prob­lems.’’

From the very first tackle, a re­view of the game throws up ex­am­ples of New Zealan­ders ob­struct­ing Phipps from get­ting to the ball for a quick re­cy­cle; one of his strengths and a foun­da­tion stone of the Cheika game plan.

More than is usual, Phipps was forced to pass over All Blacks play­ers ly­ing at his feet or get­ting up slowly in his way, see­ing the No.9 tripped up or even blocked from get­ting to the ball.

Af­ter one stray pass, Phipps yelled at ref­eree Wayne Barnes to “get him (Jerome Kaino) out of there’’ but was told “it was your pass, not him’’.

Just be­fore his sin-bin­ning for a hot-headed off­side tackle, Phipps was cleaned up by Dan Carter, who was get­ting up af­ter mak­ing a tackle. Barnes was a me­tre away.

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 ??  ?? HOT AIR: Nick Phipps lost his cool in Syd­ney win.
HOT AIR: Nick Phipps lost his cool in Syd­ney win.

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