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Blues coach Kirwan issues challenge to SANZAR

Blues coach John Kirwan has challenged SANZAR to make their refs accountable

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Article Published: Saturday 13 July 2013|

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has challenged SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray to hold Chris Pollock "accountable" for his decision to red card Kane Barrett at Eden Park.

The Chiefs won the match 16-26 and booked a home Super Rugby Semi-final but the match was spoiled by a red card in the 23rd minute.

Barrett's boot made light contact with Craig Clarke's head in a ruck although Clarke thought it grazed his shoulder.

TV Commentator's immediately said that the decision to red card Barrett was harsh and even Chiefs coach Dave Rennie admitted he felt the same way.

"They are pretty unforgiving with anything close to the head but it seemed pretty harsh," Rennie said.

Blues coach Kirwan said he was proud of the way his team played with a man down but was irate at Pollock's officiating after he also yellow carded Baden Kerr for an intentional knock down.

"In the NRL if you don't ref up to standard on Monday they come out and they talk about it," Kirwan told Fairfax NZ News.

"This is a game of rugby we need some common sense. That was a yellow card. "

"It was just trying to get him out of the way. There was no intent in it whatsoever. This is a professional sport. We've got millions of viewers all around the world watching."

"I challenge Lyndon Bray to do what we do; being dropped from selection next week because you don't play well or losing your job because you don't coach well. "

"All I'm saying is that please take a leaf out of the book of the NRL so we can at least challenge this stuff. "

"It's time we started to mature and be a professional sport and everyone is held accountable."

Chiefs skipper Clarke said that he felt for Barrett as in other games it would have gone unnoticed.

"I felt a little bit on the shoulder," Clarke said. "Personally I feel for the man. If that was a club game in Taranaki you wouldn't look twice at that thing."

"I know he's hurting about it. Rules are rules and you can't argue."

At the time of the carding Blues captain Ali Williams could be heard on the referee's microphone protesting to Pollock by saying, "What kind of game do you think we are playing?"

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