All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster didn't mess around offering his opinion on whether he thought referees had a subconscious bias towards his team.
Foster was questioned today whether he thought the All Blacks recieved a leniency from officials after former top official Rob Debney said the team "gets away with murder" in a piece he wrote for The Times.
Foster was quick to answer.
The controversial claims come after referee Luke Pearce sin-binned French lock Paul Gabrillagues during the All Blacks' 52-11 win on Saturday night but didn't issue a yellow card to either Sam Cane or Ofa Tu'ungafasi for a similar tackle - one that left Remy Grosso with two facial fractures.
But Foster said that one instance doesn't mean there's a universal bias.
"I don’t know where that assertion had come from, but no. You have to ask the referees that, but clearly we don’t think we get any favours from the referees at all," he said.
"They’ve got a tough job but I don’t know a top referee that doesn’t go out there just to ref it the way he sees it.
"I think if you look at penalty counts, yellow cards last year, we were one of the top yellow carded teams in the world last year, so I’m not sure how this 'soft on us' comes into fruition."
Foster did admit he thought Gabrillagues' yellow-card was tough though.
"We thought they were a little bit unlucky with their yellow card – it was one of those marginal ones. Was it up there? Yes it was. Was it significant? Probably not.
"And there is a circumstance around Sam Cane's one, in that he got penalised for the same degree, the question is was it worthy of a yellow card, and I guess between a referee and an independent citing commissioner they’ve said no.
"So we’ve just got to take the emotion out of it."