Rugby news, Bledisloe Cup, Wallabies, Dave Rennie backs red card rule review, high tackles, All Blacks, Tri Nations,


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has thrown his support behind calls to review rugby’s red card rules in the wake of Brisbane’s Bledisloe Cup clash which saw two players sent off.

But the mastermind of the green and gold victory again affirmed his support for referee Nic Berry in his decisions to dismiss Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton and All Blacks big-hitter Ofa Tu’ungafasi.

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Lachie Swinton banned 4 games

Lachie Swinton banned 4 games

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Bledisloe Cup news: Lachie Swinton suspension, Wallabies vs Argentina, red card, tackle, Wallabies, Tri Nations


Lachie Swinton showed his potential as one of the most promising young loose forwards the Wallabies have at their disposal on Saturday night.

But his aggressive approach has backfired and seen him rubbed out of the next four games.

Swinton was handed a red card in the 35th minute of the Bledisloe Cup game four with the All Blacks for leading with the shoulder and connecting with the head of Sam Whitelock.

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RED card stings All Blacks!

RED card stings All Blacks!

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Bledisloe Cup 2020, Wallabies vs All Blacks, Ian Foster, New Zealand rugby slammed


It was a dead rubber and the Bledisloe Cup remains the All Blacks for an 18th straight year but New Zealand is still up in arms over Saturday’s 24-22 defeat against the Wallabies.

With the series already wrapped up, coach Ian Foster wrung the changes for the game four at Suncorp Stadium and paid the price as he suffered his first loss since taking the reins.

But while Foster’s selections copped plenty of flak, it is the mental fortitude of the All Blacks that has come most thoroughly under the microscope.

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RED card stings All Blacks!

RED card stings All Blacks!

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Wallabies win chaotic Brisbane Bledisloe


Australia recovered from the loss of Lachie Swinton – the first Wallabies debutant to be red-carded – as the hosts rebounded from a record defeat to win a chaotic Bledisloe Cup Test 24-22 over New Zealand in Brisbane.

Both sides were down to 14 men before halftime, with Swinton following All Blacks forward Ofa Tu’ungafasi to the sheds for near-identical high tackles.

But, fresh off a record 43-5 hiding in Sydney last week, it was the Wallabies who controlled the second half on Saturday to win a seventh-straight Test at Suncorp Stadium.

Makeshift No.10 Reece Hodge’s boot and a late Taniela Tupou try put the Wallabies up by nine, but it took a crushing Marika Koroibete tackle to snuff out the All Blacks’ hopes after New Zealand hit back with a 78th-minute try of their own.

Winger Tom Wright landed the first blow of an action-packed match, scoring with his first touch in Test rugby to give Australia the perfect start.

His reward was to find himself on the receiving end of a thumping Tu’ungafasi challenge that initially brought pats on the back for the New Zealand forward.

Replays showed Tu’ungafasi had hit Wright on the chin, with no mitigating factors leaving referee Nic Berry reaching for the red card in the 23rd minute.

It should have been the decisive advantage, but instead the Wallabies finished the half with one man fewer on the park than the All Blacks.

First debutant Lachie Swinton replicated Tu’ungafasi’s hit with a challenge on Sam Whitelock, except without any signs of his arms in the tackle, to recklessly earn a red of his own.

Then winger Koroibete was yellow-carded for a line-ball penalty that was deemed the final straw as the Wallabies desperately defended on half time.

Australia defied their shortage to start the better in the second half, Reece Hodge’s penalty converting some good early pressure for an 11-8 lead.

But All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor scored off the back of the scrum from the restart, Nic White fumbling Wright’s inside pass as the immediate reply went begging.

Hodge then missed a penalty from 50 metres but the Wallabies continued to press, and New Zealand’s Scott Barrett found himself sin-binned for a professional foul.

Hodge did not miss another from in-front though, with Tupou then burrowing over for a nine-point lead with five minutes to play.

The All Blacks replied through Tupou Vaa’i, leaving two minutes for the All Blacks to conjure a match-winner.

But Koroibete twice crunched Jordie Barrett to force an error and seal the win and with it a little pride after a 2-1 series loss.





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Bledisloe Cup 2020: Rugby news, Dave Rennie, Nic Berry, Wallabies vs All Blacks


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has defended referee Nic Berry after the whistleblower came under fire for two contentious red cards during Saturday evening’s Bledisloe Cup match in Brisbane.

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton were both sent off for almost-identical high shots in the first half at Suncorp Stadium, reducing the contest to 14-a-side.

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Marika’s tackle of the YEAR!

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Better late than never: Wallabies beat the All Blacks – finally – in chaotic Bledisloe finale



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Bledisloe Cup 2020, Wallabies vs All Blacks, red cards, Lachlan Swinton, analysis


The Wallabies have claimed a 24-22 win over the All Blacks in a face saving victory at Suncorp Stadium.

But while it was an epic comeback from the 43-5 loss in last week’s Test which decided the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th year, a controversial first half delivered the talking points from the game.

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‘TOUGH’ RED CARD

In the 22nd minute the All Blacks’ Ofa Tu’ungafasi become the fifth All Blacks player of all-time shown a red card in a call that has divided the rugby community.





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Bledisloe Cup 2020: Wallabies vs All Blacks, Australia vs New Zealand, score, news, analysis, player ratings


Brisbane’s Bledisloe Cup clash was a great finale to a fascinating, gruelling series. And while Wallabies across the park had sensational performances in Saturday’s victory, that doesn’t quite erase the struggles many Australian players have undergone over the last five weeks.

Here’s how we rated all of the Wallabies for their overall performances throughout the four-game Bledisloe Cup campaign.

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MORE RUGBY NEWS

‘Ruining the spectacle’: Kearns slams rugby laws as Wallabies, All Blacks cop red cards



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Bledisloe Cup 2020: Wallabies defeat All Blacks, Welcome to Country, rugby league, rugby, reaction


The finale of a frantic five-week, four game Bledisloe Cup campaign started with a slip of the tongue in the Welcome to Country with social media immediately pouncing on the flub.

Uncle Joe Kirk had the opportunity to do the Welcome to Country but accidentally dropped the other code into his initial remarks.

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“Good evening everybody, good to be here tonight, another great night for the great game of rugby league,” he said to start his welcome to country.

Social media was quick to pounce on the mistake at the time.

media_cameraUncle Joe’s mistake turned out to be oddly prophetic.

In front of a 35,000 strong crowd at the end of a year where crowds like that have scarcely been seen in 2020, you can understand some nerves, but it could also be an example of how far Australian rugby has fallen.

Currently sixth in world rankings and ahead of a Bledisloe dead rubber after losing the Cup for the 18th straight year, still not too far from the Israel Folau drama and cash flow problems in the game, and playing in rugby league heartland, it’s hard to blame him.

Especially following a Queensland State of Origin win on Wednesday night.

But the error almost proved to be strangely accurate as the teams had a player each red carded in the first half, while the Wallabies had just 13 men on the field at halftime when Marika Koroibete was handed a yellow card.

When All Black Scott Barrett was given a yellow card in the 67th minute, both teams had a stint with just 13 men on the field.

RELATED: Bledisloe controversy ‘ruining the game’

Channel 10 rugby host Scott Mackinnon pointed to the oddly prophetic nature of the remarks.

“In the Welcome to Country, they mentioned enjoying a great game of rugby league, and it could be 13 on 13 by the end of this,” Mackinnon said at halftime.

Funnily enough, it was former Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm rugby league player turned Wallabies star Koroibete who was named man of the match in a masterful display.

Michael Hooper had a smile after the mistake.
media_cameraMichael Hooper had a smile after the mistake.

But after the third game of the four game series saw Burundi-born singer David Nduwimana sing the national anthem that was wildly praised online, former Australian Idol runner up Anthony Callea praised all the work pre-game.

“So beautiful to see so much respect and unity with the Welcome to Country, National Anthems and the Haka before the #BledisloeCup. Especially in times like these, as a society and human race we need to see, appreciate and be involved in moments like these more often!” he wrote on Twitter.

Originally published as Bledisloe ‘rugby league’ blunder mocked





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Wallabies revel in the chaos to secure dramatic Bledisloe Cup Test win over All Blacks


“That was a wild game,” Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said after his side’s terrific 24-22 victory over the All Blacks at Lang Park on Saturday night.

Wild barely covers it.

A night that had been billed as one of the biggest Tests in Australia’s recent history — following the disappointment of last Saturday night’s 43-5 defeat in Sydney — ended with Rennie beaming on the pitch, as he celebrated his first win as Wallabies coach over the land of his birth.

Australia’s rugby-supporting public had demanded a response from the Wallabies after last weekend’s performance — and boy, did they get one.

Perhaps we should have expected it.

The Wallabies have won their last seven Tests at Lang Park and lost just one of their past five against the All Blacks in Brisbane. The Test they lost, back in 2014, was only by a point.

There is something different about the Wallabies in Brisbane and they lived up to that billing in front of a big, vocal crowd.

The four changes made by Rennie to his matchday squad were designed to toughen up the Wallabies defence and rectify its colander-esque display in Sydney a week ago, while also addressing their shockingly poor ball retention. And those changes paid off.

The Wallabies were far more secure in possession, choosing to keep the ball in hand and probe the All Blacks’ line with ball carriers, rather than kick it in behind and invite their opponents to run it back.

Straight from the kick-off, an increased solidity on both sides of the ball was apparent, when Anton Lienert-Brown came out of the All Blacks’ defensive line to meet a deep-sitting Jordan Petaia.

Lienert-Brown was summarily dismissed, a monstrous collision leaving the All Blacks centre sitting on his backside as Petaia shrugged his way past.

The Wallabies showed a more intelligent use of the ball, with the opening try giving debutant Tom Wright a dream start to his Test career after just three minutes.

Wallabies debutant Tom Wright (left) had a night to remember, crossing for the first try of the match.(AAP: Darren England)

It came by way of a deft chip kick over the top from Reece Hodge, a man playing his first Test at five-eighth since 2017 but who marshalled the Wallabies’ backline superbly.

Despite Hodge’s recent inexperience in the role, he and his teammates kicked when the situation presented itself, not just when under pressure from the swarming All Blacks defence.

Sure, the All Blacks then did what they do best after conceding early; hogging the ball, starving the Wallabies of possession and creating openings through the axis of the Barrett brothers at five-eighth and fullback, with Beauden and Jordie both testing the Wallabies line regularly.

In consecutive plays, Beauden Barrett took the ball to the line and scythed through an infinitesimally small gap, then younger brother Jordie absorbed a walloping hit from two Wallabies defenders, yet stood tall to serve a little pass out behind him, which led to the All Blacks levelling through Rieko Ioane.

A New Zealand All Blacks player pumps his right fist after scoring a try against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
Rieko Ioane touched down for the All Blacks’ first try of the evening.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

In the opening quarter of the game, the All Blacks enjoyed 68 per cent possession and 69 per cent territory. Yet the Wallabies led 8-5.

Red cards warranted

The two red cards introduced the degree of chaos into the contest that would make this a classic — both of which were entirely justified decisions from referee Nic Berry.

Berry’s playing career was curtailed by a series of concussion issues, so the sight of Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s shoulder slamming into the chin of Wright would have made the decision to send him off easy.

It was a hit that had the majority of the crowd at Lang Park roaring in approval rather than baying for blood, but was also the sort of hit that can cause serious damage, and referees are right to call it out.

With that in mind, the subsequent decision to turn Lachie Swinton’s Wallabies debut into a nightmare was also more than justified when he collected Sam Whitelock high.

A Wallabies leaves the field after being sent off against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Lachie Swinton was shown a red card in his Test debut for the Wallabies.(AAP: Darren England)

On Fox Sports, Phil Kearns said the decision to send both players off ruined the spectacle of the game — but World Rugby’s mandate to protect the head should not be criticised.

As for having a detrimental impact on the spectacle? Not in this case it didn’t.

The Wallabies grew in confidence at the game went on, turning the tables on the All Blacks by starving them of possession, patiently working the ball up the field and exerting terrific pressure at the breakdown.

The hosts enjoyed 58 per cent possession and 61 per cent territory, earned six penalties to one in the second period and tidied up their discipline — having conceded nine penalties to eight in the first 40 minutes — while making better use of the ball.

Hooper, as ever, was a huge part of the Wallabies’ endeavours in the second half. The skipper was typically damaging against the All Blacks at the breakdown and a terrific force in the loose.

But there were terrific performances all over the pitch, with young stars Wright, Harry Wilson and Hunter Paisami all starting on home soil.

Taniela Tupou also made a terrific impact off the reserves bench. His power at scrum time was immediately obvious, forcing the only scrum penalty of the game when he bent the All Blacks’ front row to the delight of his teammates.

In the loose too, Tupou’s impact was felt. His charging runs close to the ruck proved near-impossible to stop, as illustrated when he burrowed over for what turned out to be the match-winning try.

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Even Noah Lolesio was able to exorcise the demons of his patchy debut last week with an assured 15-minute cameo, fittingly kicking the ball out and screaming with delight in what must have been a cathartic experience.

Sure, the chaotic nature of a game featuring a red card apiece could make any gains earned from this contest seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but the restorative power of a win like that cannot be underestimated.

It might not have been tidy, but sometimes you just have to revel in the chaos.



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Australia defeats New Zealand 24-22 in Bledisloe Cup Test as Wallabies post opening Tri Nations win


The Wallabies have rebounded from a record loss to the All Blacks and salvaged some pride with a thrilling 24-22 win in the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane, with both sides finishing the match with 14 players.

A week after the All Blacks secured the Bledisloe Cup with a 43-5 win over the Wallabies — the largest winning margin between the two sides — the home side produced a much more committed performance at Lang Park to post their first win of the Tri Nations tournament.

Both sides were handed red cards in a spiteful first half, with Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton and All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi both sent from the field for near-identical high tackles.

Makeshift five-eighth Reece Hodge’s boot and a late Taniela Tupou try put the Wallabies up by nine points, 24-15, inside the final five minutes.

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But it took a crushing Marika Koroibete tackle to snuff out the All Blacks’ hopes after New Zealand hit back with a 78th-minute converted try of their own through Tupou Vaa’i.

The victory was the Wallabies’ seventh straight at Lang Park. The result leaves them and the All Blacks with identical 1-1 win-loss records in the Tri Nations.

The All Blacks scored three tries to two but Hodge’s goalkicking proved the difference, with his 14-point haul including four penalty goals.

Winger Tom Wright landed the first blow of an action-packed match in just the third minute of play, scoring with his maiden touch in Test rugby to give the Wallabies the perfect start.

But the All Blacks replied six minutes later, when Rieko Ioane touched down to level the score at 5-5.

Wright found himself on the receiving end of a thumping Tu’ungafasi challenge that initially brought pats on the back for the New Zealand forward.

Replays showed Tu’ungafasi had hit Wright on the chin, with no mitigating factors leaving referee Nic Berry reaching for the red card in the 23rd minute.

A red card to Ofa Tu’ungafasi (left) meant the All Blacks were reduced to 14 players in the first half.(AAP: Darren England)

It should have been the decisive advantage, but instead the Wallabies finished the half with one man fewer on the park than the All Blacks.

Swinton replicated Tu’ungafasi’s hit with a challenge on Sam Whitelock — except without any signs of his arms in the tackle — to recklessly earn a red card of his own in the 35th minute.

A Wallabies leaves the field after being sent off against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Lachie Swinton was shown a red card in his Test debut for the Wallabies.(AAP: Darren England)

Then winger Koroibete was yellow-carded for a line-ball penalty that was deemed the final straw as the Wallabies desperately defended on half-time, with the score locked at 8-8.

The Wallabies defied their shortage to start the better in the second half, with a Hodge penalty converting some good early pressure for an 11-8 lead.

But All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor scored off the back of the scrum from the restart, with Nic White fumbling Wright’s inside pass as the immediate reply went begging.

Hodge then missed a penalty goal attempt from 50 metres but the Wallabies continued to press, before New Zealand’s Scott Barrett found himself sin-binned for a professional foul.

Hodge did not miss another attempt from in front of the goal posts though, with Tupou then burrowing over for a nine-point lead with five minutes to play.

The All Blacks replied through Vaa’i, leaving two minutes for the All Blacks to conjure a match-winning try.

But Koroibete twice crunched Jordie Barrett to force an error and seal the win.

The Wallabies now have a two-week break before they meet Argentina in Newcastle in the third match of their Tri Nations campaign.

The All Blacks face the Pumas at the Western Sydney Stadium next Saturday.

AAP/ABC



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