Frogs call for vigilance

France forward coach Jacques Brunel hopes that Stuart Dickinson will be a lot harder on the ‘cheating’ New Zealand pack in Lyon on Saturday.

“The All Blacks play with the rules and the referees, and they benefit from a lot of leniency,” said Brunel to Reuters. “It is apparent to us that sometimes the referee does not govern the scrum. They change the rhythm of the ‘crouch, hold, engage’ command, and charge in just after the ‘hold’.

“This gives them a higher impact than their opponents who are in the holding position, and are therefore knocked back by it.”

Brunel also believes that the All Blacks were guilty of transgressing the laws at the breakdown, slowing the release of the ball in an attempt to kill the opposition attack. In the Frenchman’s opinion, the Kiwis were also negative by interfering with jumpers at line-out time, as well as collapsing attacking mauls. He has already made an appointment to discuss these aspects with Dickinson ahead of the match.

“Richie McCaw is a wonderful player, but to be the great scavenger he is, he always has to be on the verge of foul play. He gets three or four penalties per game but should get double.

“We will show him [Dickinson] videos, but all that is delicate because one does not know how a referee will react. He can think that we want to influence him. All that we will be able to say to him is: we would like you to be especially vigilant.”