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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
Burke hits back at critics
Matt Burke
Burke was criticsed by Argentina and England
Australia have dismissed claims they unfairly used decoy runners in the World Cup opener against Argentina.

England coach Clive Woodward accused the Wallabies of flouting the rules, most particularly for Joe Roff's try.

He insisted centre Matt Burke had blocked Argentine players, which was backed by Pumas coach Marcelo Loffreda.

But Burke insisted: "I didn't make contact, I pulled up well short. I don't see anything wrong with it.

"Obviously there is a problem if you go and literally take the bloke out. That's something that you don't condone."

Loffreda saw the move differently, however, and was angered Burke had obstructed Manuel Contepomi as Roff made his way for the line.

The Pumas boss said: "Australia had a decoy runner and they obstructed one of our centres. For us that's a penalty, for the referee it wasn't."

Woodward echoed Loffreda's concerns.

He said: "It's the old chestnut. Is it a block or is it a dummy run?" queried Woodward. "To me, Matt Burke blocked the defender. It was very well done.

"It made things very difficult for the referee with the speed it is happening at ground level. It's the rules of the game. We are doing it, and we now have to work on defensive patterns to counter it.

"It's something we have to live with, and we will be diligent at defending the blockers coming down the middle."





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