Acting Wallabies captain Nic White told Mathieu Raynal “that just cost us the Rugby Championship” in unseen and explosive footage released by Nine’s Sports Sunday.
Halfback White, who was deputising for the injured James Slipper, confronted the French referee after the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with a thrilling and highly controversial 39-37 win in Melbourne on Thursday.
Raynal stunned the rugby world by giving New Zealand a scrum feed due to his perception that Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley was deliberately time wasting.
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“Nic I’m sorry, you know exactly what I wanted,” Raynal told White in the post-game footage.
“I told you two times and then you still continue (wasting time).”
White pointed out that Foley was in his kicking motion when Raynal intervened.
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“I understand but he was just about to kick it out and for two seconds… mate, that just cost us the Rugby Championship.”
The Wallabies now sit third in the Rugby Championship and have only a slim chance of claiming the trophy with one round to play.
Raynal asked White “can I speak?” before giving him a dressing down and explaining his unprecedented decision.
Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens are joined by Morgan Turinui and Bernard Foley to discuss the highly controversial Bledisloe Cup clash from Melbourne
“I tell you, you first, because you are the captain then I tell to your 10 (Foley),” Raynal said.
“I’m warning him, I say ‘if you don’t play immediately, I will give a scrum’. So that’s not fair what you did at the end, you just run the time and you know exactly. If you think I’m not capable to give a scrum, you’re making a mistake. So now you know it.”
Former Wallaby turned commentator Morgan Turinui said the shock decision would continue to rankle for some time.
“That’s the emotive part but it’s interesting getting current and former international referees, former players, former coaches, come out and say they’ve never, ever seen that sanction in the history of Test match rugby,” Turinui said on Sports Sunday.
“A decision that has never been seen before at the most crucial of times in a Test match. That situation should never have come about. Indefensible as a decision, unjustifiable and incomprehensible.
“The Wallabies were the better team, they put themselves in a position to close out the game with about a minute to go and they were denied that opportunity.”
All Blacks retain Bledisloe after ‘ridiculous’ decision
Turinui agreed with fellow panelist Mark Taylor’s frustration that Raynal’s act wasn’t consistent with other stoppages in rugby such as the wait to set scrums.
“There’s a law that you have 90 seconds from scoring the try to making the conversion,” Turinui said.
“Twice in the game the All Blacks went past 90 seconds and the referee rightly didn’t ruin the game by being pedantic and cancel the conversion attempt.
“He used his common sense, then he lost his common sense. I think he just fell apart at the end there.”
However, one of the world’s greatest ever referees took a very different view.
The now retired Nigel Owens tweeted in support of Raynal’s “fair and strong call.”
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