Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has defended referee Nic Berry after the whistleblower came under fire for two contentious red cards during Saturday evening’s Bledisloe Cup match in Brisbane.
All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton were both sent off for almost-identical high shots in the first half at Suncorp Stadium, reducing the contest to 14-a-side.
Tu’ungafasi was the fifth New Zealander to receive a red card in the nation’s history.
Although some pundits criticised Berry for the controversial calls, Rennie believed it was important officials crack down on reckless tackling.
“In the end we’ve got to deal with the law, and the law says contact with the head starts at a red card, so it’s a safety issue and it’s hard argue with both the decisions made,” Rennie said.
“What we don’t want in our game is reckless tackles and all we want is consistency as well, so it was hard to argue once they got a red card that ours wasn’t a red card so we have to take that on the chin.”
Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Swinton will both face the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee on Monday evening via video link.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.Source:Getty Images
Australia secured a nailbiting 24-22 victory over the All Blacks in Bledisloe IV, Rennie’s first win as national coach.
However, New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th consecutive year after winning the four-match series 2-1.
“We wanted a response tonight and we saw plenty of character out there,” Rennie said.
“I guess both sides have to deal with some curveballs with cards and so on, but really rapt with the steel that we showed and the impact we got off the bench to seal the win.
“We’ve got a good group of men, we’ve been working really hard, we knew we were better than last week and the great thing is we only had to wait seven days for redemption.”
The Wallabies will next face Argentina in Newcastle on Saturday, November 21.
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