The Brumbies were critical of the officiating around scrums after a loss to the Queensland Reds in their last game before the Super Rugby AU final.
The Brumbies, who will play the winner of the Reds and Melbourne Rebels in the final in two weeks, lost to the Reds 26-7 in their final regular-season game.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar admitted the Reds’ three tries to one victory was deserved but didn’t miss his chance to send a message ahead of a potential rematch in Canberra in a fortnight.
Angered by a 3-0 scrum time penalty count in favour of the Reds, he and captain Allan Alaalatoa claimed hulking Reds prop Taniela Tupou had hoodwinked the referee.
“We were hard done by there, that’s my honest opinion,” the captain said.
“We did everything we could to paint a picture (of compliance), but it wasn’t good enough for the ref.”
McKellar said Tupou’s opposite Scott Sio had been unfairly blamed for dragging down the scrum in claims similar to those echoed by the NSW Waratahs earlier this season.
“The scrum’s been a frustration for the whole competition to be honest; it’s not the loosehead (prop’s) job to keep the tighthead up,” the coach said.
“We’ve had a number of conversations about it and I know it’s been frustrating for officials as well, so hopefully it’s a bit tidier in a couple of weeks.”
Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn wasn’t going to bite when asked what he thought of the accusations.
“Same old, same old hey, it’s all we hear for weeks,” he said.
“So I don’t know what I’m supposed to say really; he’s been doing the business all year and he wasn’t tearing them apart tonight, just got his work done.”
The Reds will host the Rebels next Saturday for a spot in the final, the Rebels sneaking ahead of the NSW Waratahs into third thanks to a last-gasp matchwinner against the Western Force earlier on Saturday.
Reds captain Liam Wright said his side’s performance against the Brumbies, who had beaten them in two close encounters earlier this season, was timely.
“We’re not thinking about (a final in) Canberra at all; there’s no point thinking about Canberra if we don’t make it there,” he said.
“It’s just nice to just get momentum going into this weekend; we played some pressure footy and know that our systems work.”