Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Kurt Eklund handed ban for late-game wrestling flip on Sevu Reece

By Tom Vinicombe
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

While there’ll be some vindication that Blues replacement hooker Kurt Eklund has been handed a ban for an illegal tackle on Crusaders wing Sevu Reece, the post-match punishment is just another example of referees not making the best decisions during matches.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fresh from a Blues’ try, scored by Eklund, Reece leapt into the air from the Crusaders’ kick-off and clattered into Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu, sending him sprawling to the ground.

Eklund took offence to the dangerous play – which was penalised by referee Paul Williams, and grabbed Reece by the torso and flipped him over his shoulder. Reece emerged relatively unscathed from the tackle – although spent a prolonged period on the ground afterwards – and Williams reversed the penalty.

Video Spacer

The crew from the Aotearoa Rugby Pod chat through the top of the table Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Blues and Crusaders, the Chiefs first win in over a year and take a look up north at what’s going on in the Six Nations.

Video Spacer

The crew from the Aotearoa Rugby Pod chat through the top of the table Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Blues and Crusaders, the Chiefs first win in over a year and take a look up north at what’s going on in the Six Nations.

That was the end of the matter, however, with Eklund just given a warning for the dangerous indiscretion.

Following the match, which the Crusaders won 43-27, Eklund was cited for the tackle and has now been handed a three-match ban, which will see him miss games against the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

Eklund will next be available for selection in the return fixture with the Crusaders at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on April 25.

The hooker isn’t the only Blues player in hot water, however, with prop Ofa Tuungafasi also set to face the judiciary this week. Tuungafasi, who was brought off the bench in the loss to the Crusaders, made a dangerous clearout late in the match and was given a yellow card for the offence.

ADVERTISEMENT

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee believes that there were grounds for a red card, however, and Tuungafasi could be facing a similar stint on the sidelines as his teammate.

Notably, however, Eklund’s ban was reduced from six weeks to three due to his lack of prior convictions and early guilty plea. Tuungafasi, on the other hand, was sent off during a Bledisloe Cup match last year – which could harm his case.

While the Blues are well covered at prop, Eklund’s absence could force coach Leon MacDonald to call up an extra player to the squad, with Luteru Tolai now the only hooker available for selection.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

T
Turlough 1 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

13 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE 'RFU would live to regret moral guardian angel Sinfield's departure' 'RFU would live to regret moral guardian angel Sinfield's departure'
Search