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All Blacks brush off French claims

NZRU

Sportal.co.nz     11 Nov 2006     NZRU

All Blacks coach Graham Henry and captain Richie McCaw commented at a news conference on Friday.

McCaw was once again the target for alleged illegalities at the breakdown.

But he responded by saying: "We're used to that sort of stuff these days and I don't worry about it at all.

"You need to adjust, know where the line is and do things accordingly," he said.

Henry made his point by saying it was home teams that tended to be awarded more penalties in international rugby.

"I think in the game today there's a lot of times when the home team gets a lot more penalties than the visiting team," he said.

"If you research Test matches, whether they're played in New Zealand, in South Africa or in France, that's the case.

"What we would like is to make sure that the referee referees the games as he sees it and blows the whistle accordingly.

Henry said inconsistency was a problem in refereeing in the world.

"I think it's a weakness in our refereeing system.

"Rugby needs a consistency in refereeing, no matter where the game is played. That is something the guys who officiate in the game need to think very seriously about. I don't think they do it consciously but there's a lot of pressure out there from the crowd," Henry said.

He said he wasn't talking about Stuart Dickinson, the Australian referee who has charge of the first Test, but of referees generally.

"I think it's just part of maturing as a sport in a professional period and we need to look at that."