England loosehead Mako Vunipola says he’s taken no notice of accusations from former Wallabies mentor Bob Dwyer that the tourists are scrummaging illegally.
Dwyer singled out Vunipola’s front-row partner Dan Cole after England’s first Test victory, saying he was allowed by French referee Romain Poite to “consistently and blatantly break the laws of the game” by angling in on Australia’s Scott Sio.
It prompted fellow England prop Joe Marler – who is not in the squad for the three-Test Cook Cup series but copped similar criticism at last year’s World Cup – to lash out and call Dwyer a “wanker” on Twitter, a comment that was later deleted.
But according to Vunipola, the criticism has fallen on deaf ears inside the English camp in Melbourne ahead of Saturday’s second Test.
“I actually don’t really know what Bob Dwyer said,” Vunipola said.
“Everyone’s got an opinion.
“You can’t really control what people are saying outside of that, we’ve just got to stay focused on what we can do.”
South African referee Craig Joubert will oversee the next clash at AAMI Park and is under pressure to ensure no side gets an unfair advantage.
“We have one of the premier referees in Craig Joubert this weekend and we have every faith he’ll make calls as needed. He’s got the right people around him as well,” Vunipola said.
Wellington-born prop Vunipola, 25, described the scrum battle as “pretty even” in Brisbane, despite Sio copping a yellow card in the second half for repeated infringements.
“We’re obviously pleased with parts of the scrum. (Scrum coach Neal Hatley) has made some key points to work on for the tour and we measure ourselves on that,” he said.
“There were crucial times we got rewarded and we were very pleased with how it goes, but a different referee this weekend, different circumstances, different game.
“It’s a clean slate and, for us, we’ve got to start again.”
Sio has been dropped entirely from the Wallaby squad by Michael Cheika, who has opted to start James Slipper and Sekope Kepu in a new-look front row.