All Blacks coach denies holding secret meeting with referee before second test against Australia

Meetings between coaches and officials are permitted, but under certain conditions.

All Blacks coach denies holding secret meeting with referee before second test against Australia

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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has denied allegations that he held a secret meeting with a referee before their second test match in the Bledisloe Cup.

The Australian Rugby Union submitted a complaint following yesterday's 29-9 defeat to the reigning world champions, in which they claimed that Hansen met with head official Romain Poite.

According to the World Rugby rule book, coaches are only permitted to meet with referees before a match, when representatives of both competing teams are present. If one side is not present at the meeting, it must be because they declined an invitation to attend. 

Hansen has since denied the accusations but says he did meet assistant referee Jaco Peyper, to 'review' a number of incidents from the first Test in Sydney. Peyper, who controlled that game, is understood to have requested the meeting with Hansen.

“I’m a firm believer that we’re here to support the referees and help them. It’s a difficult game to ref so why wouldn’t you have the meeting? [But] we certainly didn’t have one with Romain Poite. We don’t meet the ref, haven’t done for about 18 to 24 months, because it’s just a waste of time.”

Hansen added it was 'quite sad' to hear the allegation was made.

Cheika defended the Wallabies for wanting to seek clarity on the situation and said:

"It’s something we want to be heard on and I think for Australia we’ve got to get ourselves heard on and off the field as much as we can to try and get ourselves more organised."

He also criticised Poite for refusing to talk to Australia captain Stephen Moore about in-match rulings.