Six Nations: Scotland's Greig Laidlaw claims referee Romain Poite 'doesn't like us'

New Zealand rugby fans are not the only ones who hold a grudge against French referee Romain Poite, after Scotland's captain Greig Laidlaw took a massive swipe at the match official.

Following Scotland's 23-12 Six Nations loss to Ireland at Murrayfield on Sunday (NZ time), a frustrated Laidlaw was quick to point out the influence the French referee had on the game.

The 33-year-old was frustrated with the amount of 50-50 decisions which went against the home side.

The game-changing call came early in the second half with the scores at 12-10 when Poite awarded Ireland possession, and they went on to score their third try minutes later.

"Romain Poite picked us up in the middle of the field, Sean O'Brien's cleared the ball out, and he's given a knock-on right in front of him," Laidlaw told the BBC.

"He doesn't seem to like us, Romain. He refereed us against South Africa as well, and we don't seem to see eye-to-eye.

"We're not going to blame him, we look at ourselves, and credit to Ireland."

Laidlaw's comments surprised fans as it is very rare to hear a captain to criticise a referee.

Irish fans took it a step further, labelling the halfback 'classless' and 'unprofessional' on social media

While Laidlaw was right to question the decision, Scotland were their own worst enemy as they committed 14 handling errors in the match.

Scotland's coach Gregor Townsend said he understood why Laidlaw lashed out, but also praised Poite.

Romain Poite during the All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions test.
Romain Poite during the All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions test. Photo credit: Getty

"Nines always get frustrated when they don't get the ball away cleanly or quickly," he said.

"I can understand his frustration but it's a tough game to referee and Romain is an outstanding referee."

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt didn't comment on the referee during his press conference.

Poite famously made headlines in New Zealand in 2017 when he controversially changed his mind over a penalty he awarded the All Blacks late in their drawn test against the British and Irish Lions in Auckland.

The All Blacks were awarded a kickable penalty for offside but, after Lions captain Sam Warburton pled with Poite, he changed his mind.


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