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Why Paolo Odogwu poses All Black Jordie Barrett a potential problem

By Paul Smith
(Source/Stan Sport)

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New Zealand’s management team have confirmed they will be defending the actions that earned Jordie Barrett a red card during the All Blacks’ 38-21 win over Australia.


The Kiwi back kicked Wallaby winger Marika Koroibete in the face while leaping to catch a high ball.

He was ordered off by referee Damon Murphy following a TMO review, thus becoming the first player to receive the on-trial 20-minute red card in an international.

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Ian Foster reacts to New Zealand’s latest win over Australia
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Ian Foster reacts to New Zealand’s latest win over Australia

Sanzaar’s foul play review committee will determine whether Barrett subsequently faces a judicial hearing later this week and it seems that the All Blacks will campaign for him to receive no additional punishment.

According to the NZ Herald, defence specialist Scott McLeod has elaborated on head coach Ian Foster’s post-match comments and in particular suggested that Koroibete encroached into Barrett’s landing space before he hit the ground.

“We believe we do have a defence. There’s some mitigating circumstances from our side so we’ll put forward a case,” McLeod said.

“He won the space in the air so in previous cases the person who has done that everyone else has to look after that person underneath or be aware of that. That would be one. I’m not on that committee and I’m not presenting the case but in my opinion that’s what I reckon.”


Koroibete was uninjured in the incident and Barrett has a previously clean judicial record, which may work in his favour.

However, historic precedent is not on the New Zealander’s side since Wasps’ Paolo Odogwu received a six-week suspension for a near-identical offence in November 2019.

wasps red card Odogwu
Wasps’ Paolo Odogwu is sent off by referee Tom Foley (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The England squad member was shown a red card by referee Tom Foley in the 79th minute of his club’s Gallagher Premiership match against Sale Sharks.


Odogwu was subsequently charged with kicking Rohan Van Rensburg in the head under World Rugby Law 9.12 and accepted the charge.

Many similar circumstances existed since the disciplinary panel found there was no intent on Odogwu’s part.
However, he still received a lengthy ban because his actions were deemed ‘reckless.’



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