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'He's got to be better' - Rennie blames player, not ref for card

Lachlan Swinton of the Wallabies (left) scuffles with South African players during the Rugby Championship (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says the onus is on Lachie Swinton and his teammates to make adjustments after the firebrand backrower narrowly avoided a second red card in just his sixth Test.


Swinton was yellow carded late in the first half of Saturday’s 30-17 defeat of South Africa but it was almost a red card that would have blown the top off a disapproving near-capacity Suncorp Stadium.

He clashed heads with Springboks’ No.8 Duane Vermeulen and, after significant consultation with the match review officials, referee Matthew Carley looked set to show him red.

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One last look though confirmed the pair’s shoulders collided first, allowing a mitigating factor that saw Swinton’s upright tackle penalised with a yellow card.

“He’s got an arm up in the tackle, he’s just got caught upright and because he’s upright and there’s a head contact – head on head – he’s responsible as the tackler,” Rennie observed.

“We’ve got to accept that and he’s got to be better.”

It followed Swinton’s red card against the All Blacks at the same ground, that came in similar fashion, in his 2020 debut.


“We’re plucking out one example, aren’t we?,” Rennie said when asked if Swinton had earned a reputation. “It’s (physicality) a strong area of his game, you’ve just got to be accurate.

“I would say Marika’s (Koroibete) gone into make that tackle, all of a sudden he’s in Lachie’s face and he hasn’t had a lot of time to react.”

The penalty was one of 17 conceded by Australia compared to the Boks’ 10.

That came after South Africa had probed World Rugby over their officiating of the scrum and Australia’s apparent blocking tactics in last Sunday’s loss on the Gold Coast.


“We can’t bring the ref into the game through those actions so we’ve got to be better.”

“Some of it you can’t argue with … we need to be better.”


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