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Romain Poite hung out to dry by IRB over 'late' Dan Carter hit

The French referee should have taken a firmer stance on the Bismarck du Plessis shoulder barge.

South Africa's Bismarck Du Plessis tackles Daniel Carter of the All Blacks.
South Africa's Bismarck Du Plessis tackles Daniel Carter of the All Blacks.
Image: INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

THE REPLAYS MAY not have looked great and Dan Carter may be out of action for a while but the International Rugby Board have slammed referee Romain Poite for yellow-carding his opponent.

Bismarck du Plessis sparked a mini brawl at Eden Park this weekend when he sent Carter sprawling to the turf in New Zealand’s 29-15 victory over the Springboks. The hooker was sent to the sin bin by French ref Poite and was subsequently red-carded in the second half for elbowing Liam Messam in the throat.

However, in a rare act, the IRB have issued a statement saying Poite was wrong to caution du Plessis for this hit:

YouTube credit: NZAUTV8

Speaking post-match, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen remarked, “Perhaps Bismarck may have been unlucky on Dan’s yellow card but [Poite] probably got the other one’s right.”

The IRB statement read, “Following an initial review, the IRB confirms that it was incorrect for referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card to Bismarck du Plessis in the 17th minute of The Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland on Saturday.

“Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law.

“All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future Test matches.”

In other words, pull up your reffing socks Romain.

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Patrick McCarry

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