All Blacks not focusing on referee

All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino says his side are not worrying about how the offcials are going to rule in Saturday's first test against the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park.

Lions coach Warren Gatland said New Zealand teams were deliberately blocking and holding players back to give the first five more time to clear the ball and he's mentioned it to the referees.

However Kaino says sticking to their game plan is the key to All Black success over a Lions outfit, who hit their straps against a strong New Zealand Maori side on Saturday.

Kaino says the All Blacks will simply have to adapt to how referee Jaco Peyper is going to officiate in the up-coming test.

"We have a game that we want to play and we will play that as well as we can.

"It is just a matter of seeing how the referee is going to rule on things."

Lions coach Warren Gatland said he will meet first Test referee Jaco Peyper on Friday to discuss the Lions' concerns further, in a bid for a clean opening clash.

Gatland said it’s frustrating the amount of off the ball play in terms of blocking and holding back that is going.

"It makes it difficult to complete attacking opportunities and situations.... we’ve raised it with the referees already.

"If you listen to the ref mic, they were talking about it constantly through the game. They gave a couple of penalties (in Saturday's 32-10 win over the Maori All Blacks) for blocking."

Gatland believes the Lions have been denied a number of try-scoring opportunities because of subtle blocking lines, especially against the Maori.

Asked if the Lions had been stymied he said "absolutely, yeah. When you go back and look at the tapes and look at all the stuff off the ball, where someone's run a line or stopped someone getting through, some of it is very subtle."

The All Blacks have tried to call the Lions' bluff by suggesting Gatland's teams are one-dimensional - but the tourists' boss insisted he would not lose his nerve ahead of the Test series.


Photo: PHOTOSPORT All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino