In a stunning aftermath to the second Bledisloe test, French referee and aspiring food and lifestyle blogger, Romain Poite, has revealed that he has officially “broken up with” Australia.
Speaking from a vineyard in Hawke’s Bay the morning after the acrimonious Wellington test, Poite went to great lengths to distance himself from perceived bias saying the Wallabies had brought it all on themselves.
“I cannot take anymore, I say Non!”, an animated Monsieur Poite told Off White Card between sips of Pinot Noir.
“When I am in Australia I ask M. Pulver, can I please have some fromage for the referee room at half-time and he say, ‘Ah, M.Poite, in Australia we have lovely fruit cheese, you can have that’. When I ask for Burgundy for after the match, Pulver will allow me only wine that comes in cardboard box – merde!
“I have had enough of this treatment. No more! Australie, how you say, I will not swipe right for you anymore!”
While not drawing direct comparisons between the culinary aspects of Australia and New Zealand, Poite was quick to praise his treatment while in New Zealand and deliver a stinging rebuke to Wallaby Captain Stephen Moore.
Speaking as his smoked trout soufflé had just arrived from the vineyard’s 5 star kitchen, Poite when into detail.
“I met with M. Shag during the week, it was wonderful. Have gave me many tips for good restaurants and wine and taxi vouchers too. What can I do, I must give him something in return, so I say to him, for this, there will be no yellow cards during the match.
“When I have met with M. Cheika in Brisbane I ask him, Monsieur, where do I go for good foods and wine? He looks a me funny and say, ‘Mate, fucked if I know; Caxton Street?’. I went to Caxton Street and they have this drink called ‘Bundy’, sacre bleu!
“Then last night during the game, Kieren Read says to me, “M.Poite, did you enjoy the Vension for dinner last night?’, what a kind man. Of course I must repay him, so I say, how about I give you the next scrum penalty?
“And Aaron Smith, he speaks to me, he says, ‘M.Poite, I have read your blog and it is very good’. Of course I must respond to such compliments so I say him, you are so kind, M. Smith, I will call no forward passes tonight.
“Then Stephen Moore comes to me; all he wants to talk is rugby, rugby, rugby! This is no good. I must concentrate very hard at this time as in my mind I am trying to finalise my next blog post. I say to him, ‘Go away’ and at the next ruck I penalise him to teach a lesson.”
When asked about the controversy surrounding the eye-gouging allegations against the All Black’s Owen Franks and how Poite could have missed the indiscretion, Poite was unapologetic.
“I asked the player, ‘No attack the head’, and he didn’t, he had is fingers and hands over the other player’s eyes. I ask you, how can I see this because as agreed with the very kind M. Shag, I also have my hand over my eyes whenever the wonderful All Blacks were defending a maul.”
The ARU declined to address the comments by Poite directly when contacted by Off White Card, however a spokesman did confirm that a feasibility study was being held as to whether future Wallaby tests could be held in gourmet districts such as Barossa Valley, Margaret River and the Mornington Peninsula.