All Blacks duo Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith have spoken out about a cleanout by Wallabies rock Darcy Swain that has kept teammate Quinn Tupire out for months.
Swain is due to face Sansar Court of Justice on Monday night after being found guilty Monday night, and was cited in the case of New Zealand’s dramatic Bledisloe Cup victory in Melbourne last week.
The Australian lock dove into Tupaea’s leg during a ruck, causing the midfielder’s left knee to buckle inward and torn his medial cruciate ligament.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster has confirmed that Tupaea will be out of action for at least three months.
Swain was issued a yellow card, but Sanzar has since said he believes the incident came up to the standards of foul play for a red card, citing the commissioner.
New Zealand halfback Aaron Smith said he had suffered a rugby injury but said it was partly under control.
“Yeah, I thought it was… I have sympathy for Quinn,” he told media in Oakland on Monday.
“He basically didn’t expect it to come. He was a sitting duck, a little bit of a free shot.
“I feel sorry for him as he will be out of the game for a long time. I am not quite sure what is going on in their camp with Darcy Swain… We don’t like to see this kind of injury.”
Meanwhile, the veteran first five were hopeful that the controversial time-wasting call at the end of testing in Melbourne could benefit the All Blacks going forward.
French referee Mathieu Reynal was under attack in Australia after making a decision against the Wallabies’ first-five man Bernard Foley.
Barrett was asked if that’s something he’s more aware of, as a player who is often tasked with kicking and touching penalties.
“I’m always thinking about the referee. The referee is in charge.”
“Yes, play a little bit of the game. If you’re trying to lower the clock, wait for that warning. Kick the ball or play it. Whatever it is.”
“Yeah, of course we’re the ones with the ball. If the referee asks us to keep it going, we will.”
Barrett was also optimistic that the call was a signal from the referee.
“As a fan, you don’t want interruptions, you want to see a free-flowing game…Better players should be rewarded for fewer interruptions and keeping the ball in play.
“Basically a great product for rugby.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/sport/475055/free-shot-all-blacks-offer-view-on-ugly-bledisloe-cup-incident ‘Free shot’: All Blacks offer their take on the ugly Bledisloe Cup incident