World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw admits he was “surprised” further action was not taken by the International Rugby Board when it was alleged Aurelien Rougerie attempted to rake his eyes.
McCaw and the All Blacks team stayed quiet regarding the incident, despite the fact that the world’s media exposed the ‘gouge’, but the New Zealand Rugby Union let the reporting window pass.
New evidence can be provided within 36 hours of the incident, but one felt that after the 8-7 match against France, all the focus wanted to be on the celebration of the victory, rather than an isolated post match disciplinary focus.
McCaw said at a fundraiser in Christchurch yesterday at one stage of the match anything went.
"The French are worse when they are scared,” he said.
“They were as bad as they have been and were going for the eyes," he said.
"My eye was a bit sore for a while and I was struggling to see for a bit. I was surprised they didn't cite him."
McCaw said that the match began differently to the semi-final against the Wallabies.
He said that the team was at the highest level of preparation against the Australians, saying that "you could see it in their eyes" that they were up against it.
Against France McCaw said it was more akin to panic rather than a team calmly playing time down on the clock with a mere one-point lead.
"Everyone thinks we were all composed out there," McCaw said.
"At least it worked out OK in the end."