NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika lashed out at meaningless stoppages in play after his side was forced to take a drinks break during their 30-27 Super Rugby win over the Blues on Sunday.
With the temperature hitting the 30 degree mark at Allianz Stadium, the match-day doctor used his discretion to order a 30-second timeout immediately after a Waratahs penalty goal had levelled the game up at 10-all in the 22nd-minute.
Waratahs captain Dave Dennis was heard telling Argentine referee Francesco Pastrana his team wanted to play on, but the skipper was told it was mandatory.
The Blues scored two soft tries immediately upon the resumption, much to the chagrin of Cheika.
“We didn’t want the game to stop. We’ve trained hard and we want to test ourselves,” Cheika said.
“I wasn’t real happy about it. They asked us before the game and we said we’re not into it. Like, it’s not that hot really.
“Then next thing I get a buzz saying we’re having a break. We’re having a rest. It’s not a big deal at the end of the day but for me the game is 40 minutes (each half) – go hard and see what happens.
“Sometimes that benefits you and sometimes it’s against you. If it was 40 degrees and piping it, I’d understand.”
Cheika said excess time wasting in rugby was ripping off paying fans.
“The game is stopping far too much as it is,” he said.
“The time spent at scrums – last week and this week – is ridiculous. Let’s just get set and go in.
“I feel for the crowd a little bit on those things. Last week there was 22 minutes lost on scrum introductions.
“That’s time when we could be playing. Especially when you’re behind, you want to catch up.”