All Blacks and Highlanders star Aaron Smith had his captain’s referral dismissed during the late stages of Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa game against the Blues.
The talisman half back asked Brendon Pickerill to refer to his TMO after Smith was hit around the back of the head by a swinging arm from Blues front-rower Joshua Goodhue.
Goodhue had helped Nepo Laulala cross the try line in the 70th minute at Forsyth Barr Stadium but his trailing arm caught Smith on the back of the head.
However after seeing the replays, referee Pickerill ruled that the contact was unintentional and that mitigating circumstances such as the low impact of the collision and Goodhue’s line of sight meant it was play on.
Probably a red in the Prem… pic.twitter.com/N22wCfN4gq
— shay waterworth (@ShayWaterworth) April 20, 2021
Despite getting away with it on this occasion, Alex Hodgman was shown a straight red card just three minutes later and the Highlanders eventually won the game 35-29. Full match highlights are available below: