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Referee under pump after tense NZ Test

NZN 20/11/2016 Angelo Risso

They say refereeing is the toughest job in sport, and Jaco Peyper knows that better than most after overseeing the All Blacks' 21-9 victory over Ireland.

The South African came in for stick from all angles for his performance at the Aviva Stadium, in which he dished out two yellow cards and perhaps could have issued more.

Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa both spent time in the bin, the latter for a high tackle, while openside Sam Cane was spared for a crunching effort on Robbie Henshaw.

The blow, which hit Henshaw around the chest and veered upwards, knocked the second-five out cold and helped to rob Ireland of their attacking potency.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admitted the cards were justified but said he was unsure if the penalty count, which favoured Ireland 14 to four, accurately reflected the match.

He just wanted to see consistency after alleging Irish halfback Conor Murray committed the same ruck infringements as Smith.

"I'm not sitting here moaning about the ref, he's got another job to do next week," Hansen said.

"It's not bright rugby by us and it puts us under pressure."

On the other side of the ledger, Kiwi-born Irish coach Joe Schmidt was reportedly livid with many of the calls against his side, including two contentious tries.

First-five Beauden Barrett was awarded a five-pointer by the TMO despite unclear evidence he grounded the ball, while Fekitoa scored after what appeared a forward pass.

Irish skipper Rory Best attempted to approach Peyper after Fekitoa's try, his second of the night, but the referee brushed away his protests.

Yet if Schmidt was angry, he decided to refrain from showing it.

"I don't assess the referees, they have an assessor, so we'll leave that to them," Schmidt said.

"I thought we didn't get the rub of the green on the (two) calls but that's something that can be a distraction, it's not for us to make those decisions."

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