Referee Ben O’Keeffe changed the complexion of last night’s Reds-Sunwolves clash when he handed Ed Quirk a red card after ruling the Sunwolves flanker punched Reds first-five Hamish Stewart in the face at the bottom of a ruck.
“It was a joke in my opinion,” Barrett told Newstalk ZB.
“They’ve [the referees] got to use common sense and there was certainly no force in that.
“Where’s the game going when we award red cards for little things like that?”
O’Keeffe’s ruling is justified by the lawbook, with World Rugby Law 10.4 stating that players must not strike an opponent.
Despite Quirk’s strike described by Reds coach Brad Thorn as nothing more than a love tap, the contact made, by the letter of the law, was illegal.
The red card Chiefs midfielder Johnny Fa’auli received for a no-arms tackle against the Hurricanes last night left less to the imagination.
The 22-year-old’s high, no-arms tackle on Hurricanes midfielder Wes Goosen rattled the Hurricanes’ social meda account and head coach Chris Boyd, who called the act “deliberate”.
“It was pretty reckless … it’s a shame because Goose [Goosen] might be out for a few weeks, he was pretty sore after that,” Barrett said.
The Chiefs and Hurricanes will meet against next weekend, where they will likely be without both Fa’auli and Goosen through suspension and injury.
Fa’auli and Quirk are set to have their judicial hearings Sunday night.
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