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Saturday Aug 14, 2021

Comedy gold as ref gets thrown around like pinball machine in Bledisloe Cup clash

Referee Brendon Pickerill was left red faced after taking a hilarious tumble during Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup match in Auckland.

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The official lost his bearings in the first half and became the collateral damage of a huge collision between number eights Ardie Savea and Rob Valetini.

Pickerill was then dragged into the breakdown and bounced off Sam Whitelock and other All Blacks forwards like a game of pinball at Eden Park, leaving him on his back with his legs in the air.

The ref eventually got back to his feet and blew his whistle to bring an end to proceedings with a slight grin on his face.

Pickerill was born in Auckland and made his Test debut in 2017, but prior to Saturday’s clash Wallabies assistant coach Matt Taylor told the man in the middle to watch the All Blacks lineout closely.

“They’re right on the edge and sometimes that can be an advantage but they were certainly penalised heavily,” said Taylor about the Bledisloe opener last weekend.

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“Certainly after the first couple of lineouts Australia had a little bit more success, but early on we just allowed them a little bit of time to read the shapes and get up and contest.

“You’re also expecting the referee to ensure that they have a good gap because they’re pretty good at closing that gap on occasions as well.”

These comments from Taylor didn’t help the Wallabies this weekend however, with the All Blacks storming to a 57-22 win.

One of the biggest highlights from Saturday’s game was a lovely counterattack try from New Zealand which was started by Aaron Smith and finished off by Brodie Retallick under the posts in the first half.

The All Blacks have therefore retained the Bledisloe Cup after winning back-to-back games against the Wallabies at Eden Park.

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