Following the Lions defeat by the All Blacks in Saturday’s opening Test, Warren Gatland has expressed frustration at the way Conor Murray was treated and called for a clampdown on dangerous play.
Gatland said that he feels the All Blacks were purposely diving “blindly” at Murry’s standing leg whenever he launched a box kick during the game.
France’s Jerome Garces will be refereeing next Saturday’s second Test against New Zealand in Wellington and Gatland has said that he will be raising the issue in meetings with the officials before the game.
“There were a couple of times from Conor Murray where there was a charge down where someone dived at his legs. And I thought that was a little bit dangerous. And after he’s kicked he’s been pushed a few times and pushed to the ground. It’s just making sure he’s being looked after and protected and not harassed after he’s box kicked. So we’ll probably just get some clarity from the referee later in the week.”
However, he said that he has no complaints about the way the referee controlled the match.
When it was pointed out to Gatland that Murry received similar treatment from Glasgow earlier in the year he said that it was “tough” for the player.
“When you see someone dive at someone’s leg and it’s blind, you feel for the player, and it’s a little bit concerning that they are actually not trying to charge the kick down, because they are nowhere near it.”
The All Blacks were dominant in the tight-five exchanges in Saturday’s game and Gatland has said that he had questions over the lineout maul officiating.
Nonetheless, he said that there are many things that the team needs to concentrate on and fix and that they shouldn’t be complaining about the refereeing.