x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Gatland angry at Carter challenge being missed

The Wales coach criticises several decisions made by the South African referee Craig Joubert during their 19-12 defeat to New Zealand.

The Wales coach Warren Gatland criticised several decisions made by the South African referee Craig Joubert as his side's New Zealand hoodoo continued with a 19-12 defeat at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Gatland was particularly critical of the official's failure to penalise the All Blacks fly-half Daniel Carter for a high tackle on replacement scrum-half Martin Roberts as the hosts pushed for a try late in an absorbing Test match in Cardiff. "It was a head high tackle," he said. "A guy makes a break in the 22 and if that had happened at the other end then it would have been a penalty and a yellow card and all the officials missed it, so we are pretty disappointed with that."

Carter, who overcame a calf muscle injury to play, kicked 14 points for the All Blacks while their hooker Andrew Hore scored a 56th-minute try. Wales relied on four penalties from Carter's opposite number Stephen Jones, and despite putting the visitors under severe pressure late on they are now without a win in this fixture since 1953. New Zealand's coach Graham Henry was surprised by Gatland's claim Carter should have been sin-binned for his tackle on Roberts.

"I think that's a bit of a stretch. Quite frankly I only saw it at the moment, I haven't looked at a replay at all, but it seemed to me he hit him on the chest and then slid," said the former Wales boss. "It was a highly competitive Test match between two good sides. Our guys have come a long way to play here and they did well under those circumstances." Meanwhile, the Australian coach Robbie Deans said that he was thrilled by his side's 18-9 win over England at Twickenham on Saturday and hopes to build on it against Ireland next Saturday.

For Australia, who were 9-5 down at half-time, it was only a second win in seven games and Deans said: "We had a sense that second half was coming but haven't shown a lot of patience and belief in recent times. "Sooner or later after being knocked down you have got to get up and hopefully we can create a winning habit now. Playing Ireland at Croke Park next weekend will be challenging but it's a great opportunity for us to push on."

The England coach Martin Johnson refused to blame injuries for his team's setback, saying: "We've not talked about the injuries. That was the first game that team has played together but that doesn't excuse some things. We will be better for that game. We'll improve." sports@thenational.ae