One of the biggest stories surrounding France’s summer tour of New Zealand has been the standard of refereeing.
Controversial incidents in the first two tests meant that the third and final test in Dunedin on Saturday morning, officiated by Irishman John Lacey, would come under an increased level of scrutiny.
In an enthralling game that has gone back and forth in the first half, the biggest moment thus far came in just around the half-hour mark. New Zealand, having broken quickly from the scrum, tore away from the try line with Damian McKenzie bearing down.
Replacement Baptiste Serin would have been in a strong position to stop the All Black outhalf, but found the referee to be an unavoidable obstacle in his path and McKenzie thus had a clear path to putting New Zealand back into the lead.
— Couttsy (@Couttsy88) June 23, 2018
— Smällclöne (@Smallclone) June 23, 2018
Lacey didn’t feel the need to consult the TMO upon the scoring of the try, and the All Blacks gained what turned out to be a seven-point lead with the scoring of the conversion.
Needless to say, the decision hasn’t gone down well as yet another New Zealand v France clash looks set to be dominated by a refereeing call – which would be a shame as it has been a tremendous contest between two sides really going for it.
Are these referees alright! ?
— Taulupe Faletau (@taulupe) June 23, 2018
This French team are really good, that and the crappy standard of refereeing when New Zealand play is the takeaway from this series.
— Ger Gilroy (@gergilroy) June 23, 2018
If a player blocked Serin like that, it’d be a penalty. France just can’t catch a break in this series #NZLvFRA
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) June 23, 2018
Just when you thought we’d avoid any reffing controversy. John Lacey has to accept he blocked Serin there, Mindboggling #NZLvFRA
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) June 23, 2018
How can that be a try???no way!!! #NZLvFRA
— Breyton Paulse (@BreytonPaulse) June 23, 2018
Oh no ref got involved again, kiwi commentators saying that the DMac try shouldn’t have been given due to ref blocking the French SH. Really didn’t want this #NZLvFRA
— DrivingMaul (@DrivingMaul) June 23, 2018