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‘Wasn’t a red’: Ian Foster explains the ‘facts’ of Scott Barrett’s send off

By Finn Morton
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Lock Scott Barrett may have been sent off against the Springboks on Friday night, but coach Ian Foster has explained how “it wasn’t a red” ahead of any potential judiciary decisions.


With a sense of uncertainty surrounding Barrett going into next month’s Rugby World Cup opener against France, coach Foster has attempted to clarify the situation.

Playing against the Springboks at Twickenham, Barrett ultimately paid the price for the All Blacks’ tough start. New Zealand gave away a staggering number of penalties, and eventually, referee Matthew Carley had enough.

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Barrett was sent to the sideline for 10 minutes after an infringement, and the second rower was joined by captain Sam Cane shortly after. The All Blacks’ poor discipline wasn’t helping their cause.

The world champion Springboks took a 14-nil lead, and with the half-time break rapidly approaching, they appeared to be sailing through smooth waters.

But, from an All Blacks perspective, the worst was yet to come.

Referee Carley and the TMO reviewed an act of foul play which involved Barrett, and agreed that the incident warranted at least another yellow.

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Barrett was sent to the sin bin for a second time, which also went under review for a straight red card. But two yellows made a red anyway, so Barrett’s night was over.


“The facts are he got a yellow card, the first yellow card was not for foul play. The second yellow card was a yellow card, so it wasn’t a red card,” coach Foster explained on Saturday.

“The judiciary, fortunately, don’t judge people on the reaction of people on the opposition, they judge it on the facts.”

Scott Barrett etched his name into All Blacks history on Friday, and not for the right reasons, after becoming the first player ever to receive two red cards at Test level.

Barrett was sent off four years ago against Australia in Perth – mirroring this in the sense that this incident was also in the leadup to rugby’s showpiece event.


“They always feel gutted because they want to give their best and Scott’s at the top of the tree when it comes to that,” Foster added.

“I think he’s fine. We just go back into process mode now, try and take the emotion out of it, because there’s a lot happening in that first half.

“There’s a lot of emotion in the shed afterwards but we’ve just got to calm down and say, ‘We’ll, that’s World Cups.’ So really, if you’re looking for a dress rehearsal, that’s perfect.”


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Jon 49 minutes ago
Sam Cane was unfairly cast in Richie McCaw's shadow for too long

> McCaw’s durability and sustained excellence were unique, but we seemed to believe his successors were cut from the same cloth. It’s easy to forget McCaw was just as heavily critiqued for the last two years of his career. The only real difference was his captaining criticisms and his playing criticisms happened at different times, where Cane was criticized for a few things in both areas for all of his last 4 years. This was also heavily influenced by another McCaw esque presence, in Ardie Savea, being in the team and pushed out of his original position. It could be said we essentially didn’t have the 3 prior years with Ardie as world player of the year because he was changing into this new role. I say “original” position as despite him never coming out and saying his desire is to perform his role from, that I know of, clearly as part of a partnership with Cane as 7, I don’t think this was because he really wanted Cane’s playing spot. I think it most likely that it comes down to poor All Black management that those sort of debates weren’t put to bed as being needless and irrelevant. It has been brought up many times in past few months of discussions on articles here at RP, that early calls in WC cycles, to say pigeonhole an All Black team into being required to have a physical dynamo on defence at 7 (and ballplyaer at 8 etc) are detrimental. In the end we did not even come up against a team that threw large bodies at us relentlessly, like why we encountered in the 2019 WC semi final, at all in this last WC. Even then they couldn’t see the real weakness was defending against dynamic attacks (which we didn’t want to/couldn’t give 2019 England credit for) like the Twickenham Boks, and Irish and French sides (even 10 minutes of an English onslaught) that plagued our record and aura the last 4 years. It really is a folly that is the All Blacks own creation, and I think it pure luck, and that Cane was also such a quality All Black, that he was also became an integral part of stopping the side from getting run off the park. Not just rampaged. > The hushed tones, the nods of approval, the continued promotion of this nonsense that these men are somehow supernatural beings. I bet this author was one of those criticizing Cane for coming out and speaking his mind in defence of his team that year. Despite the apparent hypocrisy I agree with the sentiment, but I can only see our last captain as going down the same road his two prior captains, Read and McCaw, have gone. I am really for Cane becoming an extra member to each squad this year, June, RC, and November tours, and he is really someone I can see being able to come back into the role after 3 seasons in Japan. As we saw last year, we would have killed for someone of his quality to have been available rather than calling on someone like Blackadder. Just like the Boks did for 2023.

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