All Blacks second five-eighth Luke McAlister believes he didn't deserve to be sinbinned in what proved a decisive moment during today's 18-20 rugby World Cup quarterfinal loss to France.
McAlister was shown a yellow card in the 46th minute for supposedly impeding opposite number Yannick Jauzion from chasing through on a chip kick.
It was the 100th yellow card issued in World Cup history, but McAlister disputed that it was warranted and sat uncomfortably as France took advantage of their one-man advantage by sending over flanker Thierry Dusautoir for their first try 8min later.
"When they got the try it was hard (to watch)," McAlister said.
"I thought it (sinbin) was pretty harsh to be honest. I was just holding my ground. I didn't go out of my way to take him out in any bad manner. I just held my line and he ran into me."
McAlister had another disagreement with young English referee Wayne Barnes in the dying minutes when he unsuccessfully attempted a dropped goal from nearly 50m out.
He said this wasn't the panicked action that some might believe.
"We had the advantage, the ref had his arm out so I just thought I would have a stab at it, thinking that we would come back for the advantage. But obviously he thought the advantage was over."
McAlister earlier had a chance to kick a dropped goal from a much handier position but declined so his team could maintain pressure with ball in hand.
"You can't have any regrets," he said.
"We are not a team to sit back, we are an attacking team. We felt pretty confident that we could get the try. The forwards were playing really well, picking and going, but it didn't come off for us."
McAlister had a rollercoaster 80m which ended at first five-eighth when both Daniel Carter and his replacement Nick Evans left the game with injuries in the second spell.
He scored the only try of the first half, coming from a sizzling 40m bust, the second such break he had pulled off in quick succession, and was later named man of the match.
That was all cold comfort for the mercurial 24-year-old, who may have played his last test as he moves to English club Sale next year.
"I am just gutted really. We have worked so hard and to fail like that is hard to take," he said.
"I didn't feel it slipping away at all. Throughout the whole game we were calm, relaxed, right through to the last whistle."
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