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Michael Cheika Furious As Eye-Gouging Row Overshadows New Zealand Loss

Michael Cheika Furious As Eye-Gouging Row Overshadows New Zealand Loss
By John Balfe
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Michael Cheika was not a happy man after Australia lost to the All Blacks in Wellington in the early hours of this morning, aiming a great deal of his anger at his side's 29-9 defeat at the match referee Romain Poite.

Cheika's side were second best throughout in the Bledisloe Cup match which was marred by foul play.

Poite missed what appears to be a fairly cut and dry case of eye-gouging by New Zealand prop Owen Franks on Australian lock Kane Douglas early in the match which could have left the All Blacks depleted to just 14 men for the rest of the match had Poite produced a red card.


It is quite likely that Franks will now feel the wrath of a disciplinary committee which will cost him several weeks of action.

See the incident for youself below.


It wasn't this incident alone which angered Cheika. The former Leinster boss was also outraged at what he perceived to be Poite's reluctance to even entertain any comments from Australia captain Stephen Moore.

I was bitterly disappointed, to be honest. I'm on record with referees boss Alain Rolland about the treatment to our captain and to our players by Romain Poite and also by Nigel Owens.

I don't know if it's subconcious or not, but it's there and it's got to be dealt with. That can't go on, where the opponent can have every player discussing with the referee. No one is saying anything bad to him.

As for the alleged eye gouge, Cheika remains confident that Franks will receive some punishment but would have preferred if the referee took action on the field rather than a disciplinary committee spring into action after the fact.

I just saw it at the time. I'm sure the match review will pick it up. They couldn't miss it - it was pretty in the open.

Australian media seems to have taken the match pretty badly. Sonny Bill Williams, on the other hand, is in full troll mode.

Somehow we don't think that this is the last we'll hear of this...

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