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Foster responds to Read tackle

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'I saw it' - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster's response following Kieran Read's off-the-ball coat hanger tackle

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has lead the official response from the team after Kieran Read was questioned for an off-the-ball high shot on Springboks flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit.

South African journalist Brenden Nel caused a stir on Twitter when he posted video footage of the incident and questioned why World Rugby didn’t cite Read from the lineout incident in the opening game at Yokohama.

“Wonder what the All Blacks say about this?,” tweets Nel.

“Probably just bury their heads in the sand. It’s their All Blacks after all.”

Continue reading below…

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Early in the second half, Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit attempts to chase halfback Aaron Smith after a lineout. Sensing danger, Read tries to impedes du Toit path but ends up taking him around the neck with a coat hanger tackle.

The incident wasn’t blindly ignored by the All Blacks’ coach, who had a message for everyone after an opening weekend surrounded by referring controversy.

“I saw it,” Foster explained to media on Monday.

“I think the game needs to be reassured we’re at probably the most scrutinised World Cup we’ve ever had.

“There are a lot of cameras on that people are looking at and citing commissioners and television match officials. I think we’ve got to have a bit of faith in that programme rather than reacting to social media.”

Read escaped any post-match citing with Wallabies wing Reece Hodge the only player to be cited following his dangerous ‘torpedo’ tackle on Fijian flanker Peceli Yato which left him concussed and unable to return to the field.

Hodge’s citing left coach Michael Cheika furious at the Fiji camp, who he says ‘went behind his back’ to refer the incident after the match.

“I’d prefer that they come up to me and get upset with me if they’re really upset about it, not to just talk to me in that nice, friendly chitty-chat way and then go behind your back and put in a referral,” Cheika told media on Monday.

Fiji players immediately asked for the television match official to review the tackle. The TMO concurred with the referee and his assistant that the tackle did not even warrant a penalty at the time.

Fiji management subsequently referred it to the match citing official, who deemed it a dangerous tackle.

Ireland’s prop Tadghe Furlong has also come under the spotlight on social media for potential foul play on Hamish Watson which left the Scotland flanker with a serious injury that has ruled him out for the rest of the World Cup. Clearing Watson out at the ruck late in the first half, Furlong drives his shoulder into the Scot after diving off his feet.

Furlong escaped on-field punishment at the time and has not been cited following the match.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen following win over South Africa:

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'I saw it' - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster's response following Kieran Read's off-the-ball coat hanger tackle