Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has poured cold water on allegations by Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers that his players deliberately hold back players off the ball.
Seen as a way of trying to get into South African referee Craig Joubert ahead of tonight's match between the two sides at Waikato Stadium, Rennie thinks de Villiers' comments have more to do with what happened in their previous match against the Crusaders.
''We certainly don't go out with that sort of intention, that's for sure,'' Rennie said.
''If they're part of a ruck then they're going to be put on the deck. We don't tend to hold on to guys but certainly if they are in there trying to contest pill we'll be getting rid of them.
''I'm not sure if this is in reference to that but certainly we don't hold onto guys.''
Rennie said there had certainly been a lot of jersey holding by the Crusaders last week and it had obviously frustrated the Stormers, who led much of the way but ended up losing 14-13 in Christchurch.
''Maybe they think by throwing it out in the media they're hoping that Craig reads the papers and maybe if it happened again they'd get a better outcome from it, but it's a nothing from us.
''It's not a policy to do it so for us it's not an issue. Craig's probably the best referee in the competition and potentially in the world and we're really excited to have him.
''Every game he's refereed for us, win or lose, he's done a great job so we're really comfortable with that. He's smart and he won't be sucked into what people are trying to fill his head with, he'll referee on what he sees and will work in closely with his ARs,'' he said.
But Rennie admits he still wants improvement from his team when it comes to discipline after some silly penalties were given away against the Highlanders two weeks ago.
''Especially against these big African sides who drive well. You give away a penalty and they put it in the corner and you give away another penalty and all of a sudden you're under a lot more pressure.
''They'll certainly drive from all over the place to win penalties and get field position to potentially kick a goal or put you under more pressure driving a lineout.
''So we need to be smarter. The penalties we are giving away have been a lack of thought really,'' he said.
- Waikato Times
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