Prop Ofa Tuungafasi has become the fifth All Black to be sent off in a test match following a tackle which contacted the head in the fourth Bledisloe Cup test in Brisbane.
The incident occurred in the 23rd minute when Tuungafasi hit Wallabies player Tom Wright in the jaw with his shoulder.
Refeee Nic Berry said the tackle was enough for a red card.
Cyril Brownlie, Colin Meads, Sonny Bill Williams and Scott Barrett are the only previous All Blacks to be sent off.
Newstalk ZB commentator Elliott Smith called the decision “Ridiculous, frankly”.
Sky commentator and former All Black Justin Marshall also disagreed with the call.
“I can’t agree with that. Having played the game and understanding the contact areas and how there is that tiny microsecond intent and contact,” he said.
“The intent was never to hit him there from what I saw. I certainly feel the player carrying the ball, Tom Wright, didn’t help the situation.”
An even worse tackle saw Wallabies flanker Lachlan Swinton get his marching orders six minutes before halftime to force the home side down to 14 men.
Fans worldwide took to social media to express their thoughts, with a clear division evident among supporters over whether the decision to send Tuungafasi off was correct.
Some labelled the decision as “outrageous”, while others believed referee Berry was “100%” right in his call.
Can’t be any argument against that #AUSvNZL
— Phil Sandford (@Phil_Sandford) November 7, 2020
It’s not tiddlywinks #AUSvNZL
— Victor Tomás Waters (@VictorTVNZ) November 7, 2020
Bit harsh #AUSvNZL
— Gribs (@unclegribs) November 7, 2020
No way that’s never a red ? #AUSvNZL
— Mikel’s Son ???? (@CorzNelson) November 7, 2020
That is 100% a red card. #AUSvNZL
— Nick ??????? (@nmb104) November 7, 2020
Gee. Dunno about that… #AUSvNZL
— Matthew Lodge (@MatthewSLodge) November 7, 2020
A red for that!! Outrageous #AUSvNZL
— James Kennedy (@kendolphexpress) November 7, 2020
That’s a gift. What a shit card to give, need to look at these rules man. Wasn’t a swinging arm or legitimately going high. #AUSvNZL
— Kieran L ?? (@kieran_shaker) November 7, 2020
Can't say that Tu'ungafasi didn't have time to get into position to make a legal hit… saw Wright coming from a loooong way back #AUSvNZL
— Jon Cardinelli (@jon_cardinelli) November 7, 2020
— Samantha (@Samanthaaamary) November 7, 2020
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