Tri-Nations league mind games begin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tri-Nations league mind games begin

By Adrian Proszenko 12/10/2005 06:56:48 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand coach Brian McClennan says he is "duty bound" to meet with referee Steve Ganson after his Australian counterpart Wayne Bennett initiated a meeting with the English whistleblower ahead of their Tri-Nations encounter on Saturday night.

And as the mind games between the teams began in earnest, McClennan said he was happy for the Kangaroos to target makeshift five-eighth Nigel Vagana, warning "we can target who we like as well".

McClennan said he would not have requested a meeting with Ganson, but felt it would be a disadvantage not to after Bennett showed his hand.

"Wayne Bennett has requested a meeting so I have to go along now, I wasn't going to," McClennan said.

"I've seen a lot of the English games, so I already know how he refs, he deserves to be taking the Test match, he's the top guy in England.

"I'm not going to assume what Wayne is going to do with the referee, but you should have an idea what the ref is going to do if you watch his games.

"I'm duty bound to see him now."

The ploy of bending the referee's ear worked for Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens, who became the first coach in NRL history to hold a face-to-face summit with a referee in grand final week.

The interpretation of the surrender tackle rule is the biggest concern for both sides. The Kiwis will be hoping their huge forwards will be able to slow the pace of the game by dominating in tackles, while the Australians will attempt to run the Kiwis off their feet.

"In terms of quick play the balls, you've got to earn them, you can't expect the referee to hand those over," said Kangaroos backrower Craig Fitzgibbon.

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