All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens doubled down on his criticism of rugby referees, saying the chaos of the blackout is damaging the game as a spectacle.
Mehrtens slipped the boot into whistleblowers in a Sydney Morning Herald column title “ The referees are just not good enough and they are letting the game go. ”
It was in the wake of Friday Game Reds v Rebels Super Rugby AU which included 32 penalties and a red card to Feao Fotuaika for a dangerous cleanup on Richard Hardwick.
Mehrtens had some sympathy for the likes of Fotuaika and said more leniency should be given to the attacking team.
“I just think that as a product our game has to be a lot more precise, a lot more transparent, a lot easier to understand,” Mehrtens said Tuesday night on Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven.
“And I don’t think the distribution is very well mediated at the moment.
“This is just one example. I don’t choose Hardwick because I think every worthy player tries to do it.
“Because once a player gets out of it, they’ll all try to do it, to steal the ball.
“I just don’t see rucks being awarded, or rucks being created, in the minds of the referees.
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“I see too many times that players hold on to the tackled player, just in order to be a pain in the butt, really, and not to cleanse themselves.
“Then they keep the ball in there – they don’t really try to steal the ball, they just keep it, trying to milk a penalty.
“And I just think we have to clean that up, we have to have cleaner rucks, I think we have to give more leniency to the attacking team and make it harder for the defense and that will improve the show.”
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