As much as the contest between Ireland and the All Blacks was a brilliant test match, the debate surrounding the performance of Jaco Peyper has overshadowed the game.
The South African referee failed to stamp his authority on the players and delegated key decisions to the TMO when he himself didn’t seem confident in Jon Mason’s conclusions.
In the end, the Irish were understandably left fuming at the failure of those officiating to send off Malakai Fekitoa for his high challenge on Simon Zebo, and for not taking a harder stance against Sam Cane following the clash that ended Robbie Henshaw’s participation.
However, while the Irish have every right to be angry and demand answers from World Rugby – according to kiwi news site Stuff – the governing body’s referees chief Alain Rolland has since told New Zealand coach Steve Hansen that Peyper wrongly sin binned Aaron Smith during the first half.
The All Black scrum half was sent to the stands after taking Conor Murray out at the base of a ruck during the 16th minute.
The instance in itself was may not have reached the threshold for a yellow card, but it came after the All Blacks had been penalised for a series of infringements.
The irony of Rolland’s admission will not be lost on the Irish, particularly as World Rugby’s High Performance 15s Match Officials Manager is himself an Irishman.
The story will also further fuel conspiracy theories highlighting the leniency with which the All Blacks are refereed in comparison to other sides.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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