All Black captain Richie McCaw says “smart” players are able to adapt to refereeing differences and only “idiots” fail to read match officials and make the necessary adjustments.
McCaw, who has been at the centre of a storm spark by claims that the All Blacks cheat at the breakdown and get away with murder, scoffed at suggestions that his team get “preferential treatment” from match officials.
When asked about statistics – used by former Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer – which suggest the All Blacks averaged 43 penalties before conceding a yellow card, compared to the six of South Africa and seven of Australia, McCaw said those figures did not reveal all the facts.
“My point of view is that there has been no disparity in the refereeing,” McCaw told a media gathering.
“People put stats out and then come to a conclusion, but the statistics don’t give the full picture.
“If we [the All Blacks] feel we are close to a yellow card, then we back off and we don’t give away a penalty in that facet again.
“If you’re on the borderline, then you back off, if you’re warned about something then you adapt. That’s what I make sure I do personally and the team does too.
“I would be very frustrated if we did not learn from how the referee is blowing, you’d be an idiot not to change if you’ve been warned,” McCaw said.
The 29-year-old loose forward made it clear he will not change his approach to the game.
“I think since the start of the Super 14 we have gone back to having a good contest at the breakdown,” McCaw said.
“The change of habit, getting the tackler out of the way, has been a good thing. But if the ball-carrier is isolated and I arrive on my feet then I should get the benefit. The same applies for the team with ball in hand if their support does arrive.
“If players do the right thing at the breakdowns then teams can play. The big thing is to adapt to what is being blown because no referee is identical,” McCaw added.
Article courtesy of Rugby 365.Tweet