New Zealand full-back Jordie Barrett was shown a straight red card for kicking an opponent in the face during Sunday’s clash against Australia, but spectators were split over the decision
The All Blacks dominated their hosts for the most part despite playing a quarter of the game a man down, with Jordie Barrett having seen red less than half an hour into proceedings.
Barrett, 24, rose high to collect an up-and-under inside his own half, stretching out a foot at the last minute just when Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete was about to make contact.
The studs of Barrett’s outstretched boot made contact with the rushing Koroibete’s face and immediately sent Australia’s speedster to the turf.
Referee Damon Murphy consulted with television match official Brett Cronan before deciding to hand Barrett his marching orders, though many felt that call was harsh:
As fate would have it, one of Barrett’s older brothers, Scott, also saw red at Optus Stadium when New Zealand lost there in 2019, though the end result was far more satisfactory on this occasion.
Ian Foster’s side were aided by the fact a new trial law meant Damian McKenzie was allowed to replace Barrett after 20 minutes, with New Zealand even outscoring their hosts while down a man.
But many didn’t feel as though the youngest Barrett sibling should have been so severely punished in Perth.
One Twitter user even suggested it was the Australian who should have been dismissed despite taking a boot to the face: “Koroibete should have been sent off for making contact with a player in the air.”
Others were quick to point out Barrett’s raised foot was unnecessary, however, as another person tweeted: “He extended his foot in to the face. It was a deliberate second action.”
The red card was particularly crushing for Barrett considering he had soared over for the game’s opening try only 10 minutes prior.
The temporary deficit didn’t harm New Zealand’s odds in the end as they scored six tries to Australia’s three at Optus Stadium.
The All Blacks had already retained the Bledisloe Cup for a 19th consecutive year when they won back-to-back games in Auckland last month, but this win helps their Rugby Championship chances.
Foster & Co. will now await word from lawmakers in regards to any further punishment for Barrett, whose Rugby Championship involvement could be in doubt if he’s served a substantial suspension.