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'So reckless': Another red card dished out to 'recidivist' Scott Barrett

By Sam Smith
Scott Barrett. (Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

Against the Blues on Friday evening, Scott Barrett became the third All Blacks to be sent off in a Super Rugby Pacific match in four weeks, following in the footsteps of Nepo Laulala and Caleb Clarke.

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While Clarke’s reckless play – the winger jumping to charge down a kick from Moana Pasifika’s Tomasi Alosio but clattering into his head in the process – was widely chalked up as carelessness, few had any complaints with Lauala’s sending off, which was a result of the prop shouldering the head of Fine Inisi during a ruck clear-out, and some were even asking for an extended ban for the 40-test All Black.

Both Clarke and Laulala were handed three-week bans, however, and it appears likely that Barrett will face a similar sanction after a reckless tackle in Friday’s defeat at the hands of the Blues.

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Barrett’s indiscretion occurred shortly after halftime with the Crusaders captain’s shoulder connecting with Blues prop Alex Hodgman’s jaw while attempting to floor the 2020 test debutant. Hodgman – who was already being held by two other Crusaders players.

It only took a quick check with the TMO for Mike Fraser to conclude that a red card was the obvious punishment for the hit and the Crusaders were reduced to 14 men for the next 20 minutes while Hodgman also had to leave the field.

Just moments later, Blues hooker Kurt Eklund crashed over from a driving maul to take the Blues out to a 24-10 lead and it was that try that ultimately proved the difference in the match, with the Crusaders scoring one late to bring themselves with touching distance of their opposition, but they weren’t able to do enough to nab the win.

Barrett has begun to develop a reputation for similarly careless (at best) acts, and was also sent off against the Wallabies in 2019 for a similar hit on Michael Hooper.

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Fans were very much unimpressed with Barrett for the foolish tackle – especially given the understandable crackdown that referees have launched on dangerous play in recent times – and took to social media to vent their frustrations.

https://twitter.com/Runningflyhalf/status/1514879891661012997

Barrett’s inevitable suspension will further trouble the Crusaders’ locking depth.

Although Sam Whitelock is expected to be back next weekend after breaking his finger against the Chiefs earlier in the season, the Crusaders have also lost Mitch Dunshea for the season and Quinten Strange for up to eight weeks. Ironically, one man who could have stepped in to help – former All Black Luke Romanotransferred to the Blues this season and was a top performer in Friday night’s clash.

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That likely means plenty more game time for rookie locks Zach Gallagher and Dominic Gardiner.

The Crusaders are next set to play in Melbourne against the Rebels next Sunday.

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M
Mzilikazi 4 hours ago
Daugunu salvo shows why Wallabies work-rate is everything to Schmidt

Nice article, Brett, and good to be writing about a second win. I think Georgia will be far more testing. Tbh, I have not looked at their touring squad, but at full strength they are a far better and more dangerous team than they were at RWC France. They would have been disappointed they did not perform to full potential there. I think that the WB’s under Joe Schmidt have started soundly. Recovery from a serious setback always takes time. And the Jones era was that and more. I think the arrival of Les Kiss back to his native Qld. is a very positive factor, and the fact that he and Schmidt know each other well is a help. Players I think are much improved this year: Daugunu, who has blossomed with the Rebels, so credit to the coaching unit down there. Am pleased he will come back to the Reds. McReight is said to have put on up to 7 kgs since last season. His work rate has always been good, but it is his carrying into contact that has gone up. Now makes those critical one or two metres post contact very often. Is conceding fewer penalties now as his game matures. Rob Valetini was good last year, but is now a greater force this one. A really punishing ball carrier. Hunter Paisami is now a more controlled player. His carrying into contact is very impressive for an 80 kg man. Interestingly, if you saw Nick Bishops latest article, he has a team for RC with Kerevi at 12. Also Skelton in the team. Not sure if there will be o’seas players as early as RC though….but need them in by the EYOT games.

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