Blues flanker Kane Barrett was red carded against the Chiefs after appearing to have made contact with the head of lock Craig Clarke. Blues coach John Kirwan was incensed at the decision, but Barrett has since been cited for a separate incident.
The Chiefs booked themselves a home semi final with a 26-16 victory in what was a competitive game despite the red card, which affected what could have been an even greater contest.
Barrett, the older brother of Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett, was sent off after just 22 minutes for an alleged stamp around the head of Clarke, who sympathised with him post match.
“I felt a little bit on the shoulder. Personally I feel for the man. If that was a club game in Taranaki you wouldn’t look twice at that thing. I know he’s hurting about it,” said Clarke.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said “They are pretty unforgiving with anything close to the head but it seemed pretty harsh,” while Blues coach John Kirwan felt it should only have been a yellow.
He has called for referee Chris Pollock to be held accountable. “A yellow would have been sufficient and it ruined what I reckon would have been a great game. It was just trying to get him out of the way. There was no intent in it whatsoever,” Kirwan said.
“This is a professional sport. We’ve got millions of viewers all around the world watching. I challenge Lyndon Bray to do what we do; being dropped from selection next week because you don’t play well or losing your job because you don’t coach well.
“All I’m saying is that please take a leaf out of the book of the NRL so we can at least challenge this stuff. It’s time we started to mature and be a professional sport and everyone is held accountable.”
Captain Ali Williams, playing in his final game for the Blues, could be heard making a comment similar to that of Tana Umaga’s classic ‘tiddly winks’ quote as he reacted to the decision: “What do you mean? F*ck. What sort of game are we playing!”
In a strange twist however, Barrett has now been cited for a stamp that occured just two minutes earlier as the Blues attacked the tryline. It wasn’t spotted by the officials at the time.
Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna created a turnover, but appeared to get a boot or two for his troubles.
“Upon further review of the match footage, the citing commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play,” SANZAR said in a statement.
Barrett was recently named captain of Taranaki so a suspension could rule him out of an important first NPC game in the ITM Cup, when his side take on Canterbury away on August 16th.
You can view the red card incident in the video below, and the other alleged stamp over on page two. Click here to go straight there, or use the navigation below this video.
A quick look at the alleged trampling incident that Barrett has been cited for. He appeared to make contact with the head of prop Ben Tameifuna after the turnover was made. It wasn’t picked up by the officials or the commentators at the time, but you can see a hashed together replay in this clip.