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Sunday, 6 August, 2000, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Ref defends extra time
Cullen scored two tries before the extra time
Cullen scored two tries before the extra time
South African referee Jonathan Kaplan has defended his decision to add five minutes of injury time to Saturday's test which cost New Zealand the Bledisloe Cup.

Kaplan said the match should have continued for a further 30 seconds after John Eales kicked a match-winning penalty with 84 minutes on the clock to hand Australia a 24-23 win.

New Zealand captain Todd Blackadder implored Kaplan to blow full-time when the ball went out of play twice in the added time and the referee left the field under a hail of plastic beer bottles thrown by a section of the Wellington crowd.

New Zealand claimed they were robbed by Kaplan's decision but he had no regrets.

Time wasting

"There were three major instances for time added on," he said.

"The first one was for injuries, there were three or four in the second half, the second one was for substitutions and the third one was for time wasting at lineouts where I felt the New Zealanders were huddling and not getting on with the game.

"There were two options, I could have taken a policeman's approach and free kicked them for time wasting or add the time on at the end of the game.

"If you count up the injury time, I've actually counted there was six minutes and play was actually five and a half minutes, so I don't have any problem with the time.

"I've got nothing to hide. I didn't make a mistake, I didn't cost New Zealand the game, I blew it as I saw it."

Timekeeper

Kaplan, who has been refereeing for 17 years, said he was comfortable with keeping time while officiating the game but suggested a uniform rule worldwide with an official timekeeper would make things clearer for the public.

"In South Africa we have a hooter system and a timekeeper and in Australia as well," he said.

"We need to refine the system and keep the public informed as to what's exactly going on. There was ambiguity in the time left, the system needs to be refined."

New Zealand coach Wayne Smith said the All Blacks only had themselves to blame for the loss but agreed an official timekeeper would be a positive move.

"It's probably a good initiative so that everyone knows the clock's stopped and this is how much is left, it's probably a step they should take," Smith said.

"Any complaints about that are excuses and we can't afford to do that because we lost the game."

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See also:

05 Aug 00 |  Rugby Union
Cool Eales stuns All Blacks
05 Aug 00 |  Rugby Union
Nobody's perfect kick
06 Aug 00 |  Rugby Union
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