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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Gatland advised against ref rage

Jonathan Davies & Justin Marshall on the Scrum V couch

Davies' & Marshall's verdict on Wales v NZ

Wales coach Warren Gatland has been advised to stop criticising match officials as Wales "aren't far away" from beating the mighty All Blacks.

Gatland launched a stinging attack on officials after Wales' 19-12 defeat to New Zealand saying referees "don't want to be involved in upsets."

But ex-All Black Justin Marshall said: "It is not something to get hung up on.

"Wales aren't far away and should look at the miniscule piece of the game they are lacking and they will get there."

Gatland, himself a New Zealander, was furious that Dan Carter was not penalised for a high tackle on Martin Roberts which could have altered the result at the Millennium Stadium.

The All Black fly-half has been cited for the second-half incident Carter later apologised to the replacement Welsh scrum-half.

"If that had happened at the other end, then it would have been a penalty and a yellow card," Gatland told BBC Sport.

Gatland also criticised as "harsh" a decision by South African referee Craig Joubert to award a first-half penalty against flanker Martyn Williams for a deliberate knock-on.

Warren Gatland
You just want some calls to go your way. It's trying to change referees' opinions about not wanting to referee an upset

Wales coach Warren Gatland

"You look at that and it means we lost three points there and with the high tackle," said Gatland.

New Zealand's hoodoo over the Welsh continued on Saturday as the All Blacks have won 21 in succession stretching back to 1953, but the Wales coach feels that match officials do not want to be involved in the potential aftermath and controversy of a shock result.

"The frustrating thing... was not getting some 50-50 calls," he added.

"You just want some calls to go your way. It's trying to change referees' opinions about not wanting to referee an upset.

"We've got to keep playing positive rugby and win them over."

But Marshall, the former New Zealand and Ospreys scrum-half icon, hopes that his fellow countryman Gatland and Wales "move on."

"I hope Wales move on from this and don't make it a focal point," Marshall told BBC Wales' Scrum V show

"I think they're getting closer and even Ian Jones, an All Black legend, said it and we can see it as neutrals.

"I thought New Zealand got the slight rub of the green from the referee but it did not influence the outcome of the game as New Zealand played at a greater pace and took their opportunities better."

Carter's controversial high tackle on Roberts ended one of Wales' most promising attacks and ensured the All Black superstar endured a chorus of boos from the Cardiff crowd.

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards claimed Carter should have been sin-binned and his side would have benefitted from a subsequent penalty in front of the posts.

And Marshall added: "Possibly it may have changed the context of the game because New Zealand would have been a man down - and a very important man down - when defending as at that time of the game because Wales were starting to find their way back into it and had some momentum

"But if Wales had kicked the penalty they still needed to score a try to win."

Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies pointed out that All Blacks play "right on the edge" of the laws of the game but fears that Gatland could regret his post-match referee outburst.

"Maybe he will regret saying that and putting the referee in that situation," he said.


"But the All Blacks do play the referee better than anyone else. They play right on the edge all of time and the back row are renowned for it - but it is one of those things."

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott also advised Gatland to concentrate on improving his team rather than hitting out at the officials.

"The way he went on about referees not wanting to be on the other side of an upset is way up the wrong lane," he told BBC Sport.

"If you're team is dominating your team is good and the All Blacks had 70 percent of possession in the second half. If you're a good team, you win."

All Blacks assistant manager Wayne Smith laughed off Gatland's thinking match officials do not want to officiate in upsets.

"Gats probably would," Smith told BBC Sport.

"Rugby is an emotional game and in the heat of the moment you always think you're not getting the rub of the green as a coach.

"But Joubert is a good ref and we trust the officials make good decisions."

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see also
Highlights - Wales 12-19 New Zealand
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Shoulder injury rules out Jones
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Jones pledges Wales will beat NZ
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Gatland lashes out at officials
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Carter given one-match suspension
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'Messy' pitch concerns Halfpenny
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Wales 12-19 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
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All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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