The, er, unique, position the All Blacks occupy in the hearts of referees and officials in world rugby manifested itself once again this morning in their 52-11 win over France. While New Zealand were perhaps always likely to win the game, the game turned on a big moment of controversy early in the second half. France led by three points at half-time, and were tied at 11-11 when referee Luke Pearce yellow carded Paul Gabrillagues.
As replays show, it was a dreadful decision, with Pearce not even bothering to go to the TMO.
You can watch it below:
Elsewhere, New Zealand's Sam Cane got away without even a warning for this 'tackle'.
Seat belt tackle followed by a shoulder to the face.
— rugby (@theblitzdefence) June 9, 2018
The sin-binning broke French spirit, and ultimately lost the second half 40-0.
The All Blacks ran in three tries while Gabrillagues was off the pitch, and while they would likely have won the game anyway, they undoubtedly benefitted from some dodgy decisions.