All Black gives his take on the Freddie Steward red card
By Rugby Onslaught

All Black gives his take on the Freddie Steward red card

All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith has recently given his take on England fullback Freddie Steward’s red card against Ireland on Saturday in the Six Nations, saying “context needs to be taken into consideration.”

Steward was dismissed by referee Jaco Peyper in the first half of the Six Nations finale at the Aviva Stadium for making contact with the head of opposite man Hugo Keenan in a bizarre altercation where it looked as though he was pulling out of the tackle. It was highly dangerous, but seemingly accidental, which has caused the controversy.

Take a look at the red card:

Journalist Liam Napier Tweeted soon after, saying: “Rugby desperately needs to separate accidental incidents and foul play or it will continue to baffle and alienate fans. This is merely the latest example.” Smith responded to this by writing: “Total agree there is times in rugby where things just happen at speed or player slips or bounce of a ball that can’t be avoided and then some that the player gets it wrong. Sometime a Lil context needs to be taken into consideration.”


Since Steward was sent off, more or less rendering the game a foregone conclusion before half time, the topic of 20 minute red cards has arisen again. Smith played in Super Rugby where the 20 minute red card was trialled, but did not indicate whether he is for such an idea or not. He may have just thought that the collision warranted a yellow card, as many other people have, as it was ultimately accidental and without any malice.

Steward will attend an independent disciplinary hearing on Tuesday March 21 for “acting contrary to Law 9.13 (A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders).”