Tuesday, November 09, 2010
While Keven Mealamu heads to a disciplinary hearing tonight for his headbutt, Englands Dylan Hartley got off scot-free for a dangerous challenge on New Zealand captain Richie McCaw. Both incidents occurred during the Twickenham game between the two sides on Saturday which the All Blacks won 26-16.
Its a bit strange that the one was cited and not the other, as Hartleys shot was clearly away from the ball and looked fairly malicious. How he escaped punishment, only the citing commission knows, although they apparently did take note of the incident.
It was hinted that the retaliation after the forearm drop, mainly from Brad Thorn after the whistle, might be the reason for it being cancelled out.
All Black assistant coach Wayne Smith has said that they are frustrated with the Hartley incident not being picked up. "Yeah, I was disappointed. From what I saw, it warranted it. I don't have any comment on that, other than as I was looking at it at the time I thought 'that will be interesting'," he commented.
Mealamu was cited for breaching Law 10.4 (a) for striking an opponent with the first or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knees. It could be argued that what Hartley did should fit into that category.
The ref missed the actual shot, and although McCaw told him what happened, he did well to calm the situation down at the time. For his sake alone, you would have thought that the citing procedure would take care of the rest.
If you're into sports betting , England host Australia this weekend while New Zealand head up to Murrayfield to play Scotland.
Keven Mealamu's headbutt on Lewis Moody at Twickenham
New Zealand win despite spirited England comeback