To say that New Zealand's victory over Ireland was founded solely on brutality and cynicism would be unfair; that would obscure both their unerring finishing and occasionally superb defence, along with Ireland's profligacy with the try-line in sight. What is entirely fair to say is that the All Blacks exploited a very weak referee much more successfully than Ireland did, and as a result got away with a hell of a lot.
The All Blacks' ability to influence referees and come out on the right side of close calls often bears itself out in close games, and much of this is often attributed to the ability of the New Zealand captain to communicate with the referee. Richie McCaw's relationship with referees earned near mythical status during his career, and Kieran Read has ably stood up to the plate in this regard: he had Jaco Peyper ask him "are you happy with that" when giving just a penalty to Wales, rather than a card against New Zealand, when Waisake Naholo took out Liam Williams in the air during a test match earlier this summer.
Any New Zealand match features Read frequently conversing with the referee, and one instance last night drew laughter from Johnny Sexton:
Kieran Read complaining to Jaco Peyper, Sexton's reaction: not having it pic.twitter.com/igsn9xUPwq
— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) November 20, 2016
This is no way to demonise Read for doing so: if the rules allow it, he is perfectly entitled to try and influence the referee as best he can: it's up to the referee to deal with it.
With the above in mind, you should take a look at the Player Ratings from the New Zeland Herald, and in particular their description of Rory Best.
Yap, yap, yap. Some lineout misses aside, strong. But cut the referee inquisitions please.
Eh? Read spent much of the game in the referee's ear, so to criticise Best for doing so is hypocritical. Best's inquisitions were legitimate also: he questioned the TMO call on the second try and also wondered why the third wasn't sent upstairs to be confirmed.
Elsewhere, in the same ratings, Andrew Trimble, and the entire Irish back-row come in for high praise.