Saturday 18 November 2017

First test ref happy with display despite Lions criticism

The Lions won the opener in Brisbane 23-21 on Saturday but that did not stop coach Warren Gatland criticising his compatriot Pollock for his rulings
The Lions won the opener in Brisbane 23-21 on Saturday but that did not stop coach Warren Gatland criticising his compatriot Pollock for his rulings

Reuters

DESPITE being mauled by the British and Irish Lions for his performance in the first test against Australia, New Zealand referee Chris Pollock said he was '90 percent happy with his display'.

The Lions won the opener in Brisbane 23-21 on Saturday but that did not stop coach Warren Gatland criticising his compatriot Pollock for his rulings at the breakdown as the tourists lost the penalty count 12-7.

Gatland said his Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll was 'afraid to go to the breakdown and compete' after being penalised twice trying to pilfer ball in the opening minutes by Pollock.

"In New Zealand, we're hot on players being in a position to support their own weight when attacking the ball," Pollock told the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.

"I'm probably 90 percent happy with the decisions I made," hinting the second early call against O'Driscoll, who pleaded at the time for Pollock to watch the replay of the incident on the stadium big screen, had been harsh.

"There's a couple of decisions I've looked at and thought that's either a tough call or it's wrong. You know, it's such an intense atmosphere... the margins are so fine and at some points you're going to have to make judgment calls."

Pollock will be the touch judge for the second test in Melbourne on Saturday and also the third and final match in Sydney on July 6.

The 40-year-old said he was looking forward to the two assignments despite the wave of criticism.

South African Craig Joubert, who officiated the 2011 World Cup final, will take charge of the second test with Romain Poite of France refereeing the finale.

Reuters

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