Ex Lion highlights rugby's biggest problems after Retallick red for All Blacks
By Rugby Onslaught

Ex Lion highlights rugby’s biggest problems after Retallick red for All Blacks

Very few people are arguing that the All Blacks’ Brodie Retallick did not deserve a red card on Saturday in their narrow win over Japan in Tokyo.

The lock was dismissed by referee Nika Amashukeli on 66 minutes for a clearout of Kazuki Himeno at a ruck, where he drove straight into the back of his head. It was a clear red, but plenty of people have raised a question since then- what else could he do?

Himeno’s position over the ball at the ruck was so good that Retallick could not have got any lower. Worse still, former Wales and British & Irish Lions No8 Andy Powell said that the only way to get rid of a player at a ruck in this situation is to use the croc roll, which some might say is actually more dangerous than making contact with the head.

Powell wrote on Twitter: “Definitely a red! I’m not a fan of the croc role but in this situation you’re going to have to use it, or just get to the breakdown quicker or leave it alone and let them have the penalty!”

Powell’s former Wales teammate Sam Warburton recently shared a video on how to safely clear a player out at the ruck, which is maybe what Retallick was trying to do. However, at pace it is easy to get it wrong, which he did and was deservedly sent off.

The All Blacks were leading 35-24 at that point, but a late Japan try produced a nail-biting ending. But the All Blacks held on to win 38-31.

Take a look at the red card:

All Blacks
1. George Bower (19) 2. Dane Coles (84) 3. Nepo Laulala (42) 4. Brodie Retallick (98) 5. Tupou Vaa’i (15) 6. Shannon Frizell (21) 7. Sam Cane (85) (captain) 8. Hoskins Sotutu (12) 9. Finlay Christie (12) 10. Richie Mo’unga (41) 11. Caleb Clarke (11) 12. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (2) 13. Braydon Ennor (5) 14. Sevu Reece (21) 15. Stephen Perofeta (1)
Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (17) 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (48) 18. Tyrel Lomax (20) 19. Patrick Tuipulotu (42) 20. Dalton Papali’i (18) 21. Aaron Smith (111) 22. David Havili (21) 23. Anton Lienert-Brown (56)

1. Keita Inagaki 2. Atsushi Sakate 3. Jiwon Koo 4. Warner Dearns 5. Jack Cornelsen 6. Michael Leitch 7. Kazuki Himeno 8. Tevita Tatafu 9. Yutaka Nagare 10. Takuya Yamasawa 11. Siosaia Fifita 12. Ryoto Nakamura 13. Dylan Riley 14. Kotaro Matsushima 15. Ryohei Yamanaka
Reserves: 16. Takeshi Hino 17. Craig Millar 18. Shuhei Takeuchi 19. Kanji Shimokawa 20. Faulua Makisi 21. Naoto Saito 22. Seungsin Lee 23. Gerhard van den Heever