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A shock from the All Blacks.

Australia v New Zealand: Until last year it was custom for representatives from both teams to meet with the referee the day before a match so that they could question him on which aspects of the game that he would be keeping a close eye on.

On the Friday before the New Zealand v Australia match, both teams requested a meeting with me. I had a hell of a shock when I saw who and how many from the All Blacks camp came to see me; they included Graham Henry, Steve Hansen, Mike Cronn (tight play specialist), Wayne Smith (the backs coach) and the captain, Richie MaCaw. An unofficial meeting you'd say!

For them, the meeting gave them a chance to try to tell me how I should referee when it came to the tackling.

They were worried after South Africa and Australia had been complaining in the press that Richie McCaw wasn't getting punished enough for killing the ball on the floor, and as a result, I would be harsh and punish him regularly.

I explained to them that I never go into a game with a firm strategy of when and where I would punish players. My policy is always to referee what I see in front of me.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 23, 2008
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