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Jones tells Lions not to whinge about refs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017
Bryn Hall of the Crusaders passes the ball out from a scrum. © David Rogers/Getty Images Bryn Hall of the Crusaders passes the ball out from a scrum.

Former Wales prop Adam Jones has urged the British and Irish Lions not to "whinge" about the officiating of their misfiring scrum.

The tourists endured a second defeat in four matches when a 22-13 third-quarter lead over the Highlanders ended in a 23-22 loss after Marty Banks landed a match-winning penalty that was conceded at the set-piece by prop Dan Cole.

Head coach Warren Gatland admitted the Lions' creaking scrum had cost them the game, questioned the decision-making of Australian referee Angus Gardner and called for consistency.

"The main word to keep in mind when discussing how the scrum is being officiated in New Zealand is 'interpretation'," Jones, who made five Test appearances for the Lions, told ESPN.

"It is all about interpretation. Everything is different when you are being refereed by a southern rather than a northern hemisphere ref, so we can't whinge about it too much - we have just got to crack on."

British media have focused on the message from television match official Marius Jonker to referee Angus Gardner when Cole came off the bench in Dunedin.

Jones had no problem with that, saying match officials do "homework" on front rowers.

"Referees will look at each prop to see how he's been going in the last couple of games, how he's been scrummaging and whatnot.

"Gardner will have done that too, so I think he'd have a pretty good idea about how the Lions have been scrummaging."

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