Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is still fuming over Bryce Lawrence’s poor performance in Christchurch last Saturday.
New Zealand’s 2011 Referee of the Year failed to penalise Julian Savea for obstructing Tom Taylor, who was attempting to tackle Conrad Smith, which allowed the Hurricanes centre to score. Canes lock Jeremy Thrush was also in Luke Romano’s way in the lead-up to Smith’s second try just before half-time.
‘To me [Smith's first try] was not a try,’ said Blackadder. ‘If there was a TMO like rugby league, they wouldn’t have allowed it.
‘Even the second one [was dubious], when they had a guy in our defensive line as obstruction. But we weren’t quite on song and put our hands up and took responsibility for what wasn’t a very accurate performance.’
The Hurricanes’ 23-22 win brought them back into play-off contention and all but ended the Crusaders’ hopes of winning the New Zealand conference.