Monday 11 December 2017

Poite admits error in Du Plessis dismissal

Bismarck du Plessis who was dismissed against the All Blacks
Bismarck du Plessis who was dismissed against the All Blacks

French referee Romain Poite has admitted he was wrong to issue a yellow card to South Africa's Bismarck du Plessis for his tackle on New Zealand's Dan Carter during their Rugby Championship clash in Auckland on Saturday.

Poite sin-binned Du Plessis in the first half of the All Blacks' 29-15 victory over the Springboks at Eden Park, although replays showed little wrong with the tackle – despite Carter suffering a shoulder injury that is set to rule him out of action for six weeks.

The incident was referred to the TMO George Ayoub, but he failed to provide Poite with evidence to sway his opinion of what he saw as a dangerous tackle and the hooker was subsequently sin-binned.

Du Plessis returned to the action and crossed for a try, but his game was ended when he was rightly handed a second yellow card – and so a red – for an elbow to the throat of New Zealand's Liam Messam as he charged into the All Blacks' defence early in the second half.

Poite was the subject of widespread criticism with former South Africa coach Nick Mallett labelling the error a "disgrace" although current Boks coach Heyneke Meyer refused to dwell on the issue post-game. However, the International Rugby Board has admitted an error was made by all the officials involved.

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