Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO
nz reaction

'The tackle of a man who still hasn't got the violent stupidity of rugby league out of his system'

The Kiwi media have the knives out for SBW and rugby league after their first red card since 1967.

THE KIWI POST-MORTEM into the All Blacks’ loss to the Lions today was pretty much settled even before the defeat came about.

The man of three names and many sports, Sonny Bill Williams is the subject of all the immediate scrutiny after his 25th minute red card made some unwanted history for the world champions.

On, the only thing shouldering some blame alongside Williams is the sport that has most divided his time away from rugby union. In a scorching takedown of the 31-year-old, Mark Reason called the hit: ”the tackle of a man who still hasn’t got the violent stupidity of rugby league out of his system.”

And his distaste for the 13-man Australian-dominated sport doesn’t end there. In Reason’s account of the lengthy deliberations before referee Jerome Garces showed courage in his convictions to issue the red, he opined: “(TMO) George Ayoub is an Aussie. He is used to State of Origin and head hunting and all that sort of thing. He didn’t advise Garces, he hung him out to dry and told him to have another look at the big screen.”

Sonny Bill Williams is shown a red card by Jerome Garces Photosport / Grant Down/INPHO Photosport / Grant Down/INPHO / Grant Down/INPHO

The New Zealand Herald, of clown template photoshop fame, were much less scathing of Williams in their review, calling it “more clumsy than intentional,” but back on Stuff Mark Geenty kept the knives good and sharp as he labelled the action ‘a brain snap of epic proportions’ and showed his work when trying to fill in alternative words to fit SBW.

New Zealand’s best known and most polarising sportsman. Insert variations here, and thousands did in the aftermath: B for blundering, maybe even brainless; W for, well, take your pick.”

A black day for New Zealand rugby union then, but they may well turn to another Rugby League convert to fill the 12 shirt next weekend after an impressively industrious shift from Ngani Laumape.

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