All Blacks captain Kieran Read has defended an alleged 'neck roll' tackle from Owen Franks in the second Bledisoe Cup test in Auckland on Saturday night.
On arrival back into Sydney on Sunday, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was agitated that his star player, David Pocock, was seemingly targeted by the All Blacks.
Pocock appeared to struggle throughout the 80 minutes, often taking time to get to his feet and return to play.
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Cheika identified at least three occasions New Zealand defenders targeted the neck of Pocock at the breakdown, including a first-half incident where Owen Franks performed a 'neck roll' on the back-row forward.
"He's there nearly all the time, so he becomes a target and they do whatever they can to get rid of him," Cheika said.
"I think today's probably not the day to start going out for that type of stuff, but… he could hardly move his neck today."
Read admitted Pocock was a target for the All Blacks, but so was every other breakdown threat they came up against.
He put the onus back onto Pocock, claiming players who put themselves in and around opposition ball are going to cop physical treatment.
"It's not so much tactics,” Read told Newshub. "It's more that he's just really good, so you have to focus on him.
"You target a guy who puts his head near the ball, that's what Pocock does, so if you look through it, it was all legal stuff and it's all part of the way the game is played.
"If you put your head on the ball, you have to expect to get hit.
“He is a great player, but every seven in the game is targeted like that."