Shocking scenes as Bok Vermuelen gets away with common assault on poor All Black
There were a couple of players that could count themselves very lucky after South Africa’s victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham.
Obviously after a record defeat for the All Blacks, very few players will feel lucky, but Scott Barrett was actually quite fortunate to not have his yellow card upgraded to a red by the bunker. It did not matter in the context of the match as he was red carded as a result of receiving two yellows, but his reckless cleanout at the ruck could easily have been a red card on another day. Likewise, Pieter-Steph du Toit’s yellow card could well have been another colour in another match.
But the luckiest of all was surely No8 Duane Vermeulen, who somehow got away with raining down with an onslaught of slaps and punches to the head of the All Blacks’ Luke Jacobson at a ruck. The flanker was not innocent in this as he was holding onto the Bok at the ruck, but that does not give a player licence to do whatever they please to make sure they release them.
This was not a red card, probably not a yellow either, but a penalty at least as Vermeulen’s last punch/ slap came with some force to the back of the head of the All Black.
Take a look:
So TMO’s are so prolific at their jobs:
They are able to find a Scott Barrett going shoulder-to-armpit on Marx
PUNCHING THE HEAD REPEATEDLY IN THE HEAD IS OK, we play on?
RUGBY 🏉😂😂😂😂 man, dunno how many times I need to say how much of a farce this game is. pic.twitter.com/AH97TWr2Y7
— RHABULA ☕️🐻 | #RWC2023 (@Rugby_Scoop) August 25, 2023
Ultimately this was in no way going to change the result of the match as the Springboks obliterated the All Blacks 35-7 at Twickenham, handing New Zealand their biggest ever loss.
Given the performances of the two sides, it looks unlikely that the All Blacks will be able to beat France in their pool at the World Cup, while South Africa are in good shape to beat Ireland and Scotland. If that happens, the Boks and the All Blacks will meet again in the World Cup quarter-finals.