Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has criticised some decisions made by the match officials during his side’s match against the Hurricanes on Friday.
In a match filled with plenty of thrilling action and drama in Hamilton, the Hurricanes sealed a 27-24 victory courtesy of a Jordie Barrett penalty four minutes into injury time.
It was initially thought that Chiefs No 8 Pita Gus Sowakula was penalised for a late hit on Alex Fidow, after that incident was shown on television replays, but it was actually the home side’s prop Reuben O’Neill who was blown up for a dangerous tackle on Vaea Fifita.
Referee Jaco Peyper ruled that O’Neill had not used his arms in the tackle, after checking with his TMO Aaron Paterson, but Gatland feels the decision was incorrect.
“I thought it was a bit harsh,” he told TVNZ.
“It looked to me like Reuben’s got his left arm up and trying to attempt a tackle, it doesn’t look like it’s no arms.
“And you’ve got to question whether the Hurricanes player’s lifted his leg and led with his knee as well.
“But that’s rugby, you’ve got to take the decisions of the referee and accept that.”
The former Wales coach also feels Hurricanes scrumhalf and co-captain TJ Perenara should have been red carded for a high tackle on Solomon Alaimano. Perenara only was sent to the sin bin for his offence which took place midway through the second half.
“You can make your own judgement on that,” said Gatland.
“He (Perenara) seemed pretty happy with the yellow card to me when he’s seen the replay.”