Brunel blasts ref­eree block

The Rugby Paper - - Internationals -

STEVE Hansen praised Damian McKen­zie for si­lenc­ing his crit­ics and de­fended his con­tro­ver­sial first try.

The All Blacks boss said: “Damian an­swered a lot of ques­tions. He showed that he is a very, very ca­pa­ble foot­baller at 10, and can drive a team around the park.”

But McKen­zie’s firsthalf try up­set the French and had coach Jaques Brunel com­plain­ing.

“To me, it seems quite clear,” Brunel said. “If a player or a ref­eree ob­structs the play, and that dis­ad­van­tages one team or the other, then it needs to be ac­counted for and dealt with.

“If it had not been al­lowed, the score could have been level by half­time.

“The ref­eree was in the way for that try. It re­ally could have been an equal game.”

But Hansen hit back: “There’s nowhere in the rule book that says the ref­eree can cause ob­struc­tion.

“He’s got to stand some­where. What do they want him to do? Click his fin­gers and dis­ap­pear.”

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