Rugby fans and commentators have savaged the decision to hand Darcy Swain a six-week suspension for an incident that left All Blacks player Quinn Tupaea with a badly injured knee, with many of the belief that the Wallabies forward got off lightly.
Tupaea suffered a ruptured medial cruciate ligament (MCL) and a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in his left knee after Swain entered a ruck and made firm contact with the All Black's outstretched leg last Thursday night in the Bledisloe Cup.
'ABSOLUTE DISGRACE': Wallabies 'farce' leaves rugby world in uproar
Swain, who only received a yellow card at the time, was cited after the match at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium and fronted a SANZAAR Judicial Committee hearing on Wednesday night.
Australia’s Darcy Swain cited for the below. Quinn Tupaea suffered a ruptured MCL and partial ACL tear as a result of this.
World Rugby needs to throw the book at Swain and hand him a lengthy suspension. https://t.co/tsdmZb8LCT
— Tom Hamilton (@tomhamiltonespn) September 16, 2022
Swain was found guilty of contravening Law 9.11 - "Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others" and handed a six-week suspension.
MCL rupture and partial ACL tear for Quinn Tupaea.
Honestly, throw the book at Darcy Swain. This was hideous stuff. pic.twitter.com/EfJbDGiDxM
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) September 16, 2022
The ban will extend to the 6th of November, ruling Swain out of Saturday's return Bledisloe Cup clash as well as tour matches against Scotland at Murrayfield on October 30 and France in Paris on 6 November.
In its findings, the Judicial Committee chair Andre Oosthuizen SC ruled the following:
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, having heard from the player and from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the Citing and deemed the incident meet the red card threshold for Law 9.11."
"With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six (6) weeks.
"Through the actions by the player such as position, control, and player movements they found the incident was not intentional, however, it was highly reckless."
Swain will also miss next month's Australia A tour of Japan, the squad for which he was controversially named in this week in what some felt was a ploy to 'use up' his suspension.
By handing down a ban of six weeks rather than six matches, that issue has been negated.
Rugby world in uproar over Darcy Swain suspension
Speaking after the game, All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: "We've got a player who's probably out for nine months and you're not allowed to target legs on the side at cleanout past the ball. The rules are pretty clear."
All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett said on Monday: “I feel for Quinn. He basically didn’t see it coming, he was a sitting duck. It was a bit of a free shot. We don’t like to see these sorts of injuries.”
All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith added: “Injuries happen in rugby but some can be controlled."
However Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was of a different opinion.
"I'm not convinced about Darcy's [yellow card]," Rennie said.
"It was certainly nothing intentional. Ironically, he got neck-rolled prior to him cleaning out, but that wasn't picked up."
Fans and pundits took to social media on Thursday to condemn the 'light' punishment for Swain considering Tupaea will likely miss between nine and 12 months of rugby.
Sanzaar is becoming a joke, second sanction in 1 year, head a player now this and only 6 week ban, but other players get 6 weeks for much less. Money must have changed hands
— Dawid Roestorf (@DERoestorf) September 21, 2022
What a joke 🤢
— Sam Trevor (@SamTrevor380) September 21, 2022
— Brian (@Ringbrian88) September 21, 2022
could have been a lot more and probably should have been
— skierg (@skierg) September 21, 2022
6 Week ban for Darcy Swain.
9/12 Months out injured for the All Blacks player.
World Rugby is a Joke.
— 𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐉𝐚𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐬 (@LeeJarvis10) September 21, 2022
Darcy Swain getting only 6 weeks is pathetic. He got off lightly imo. He is a repeat offender only just coming back from a headbutt suspension.Shouldve got a much larger layoff. Quinn Tupaea is needlessly injured because of a thuggish act. When will World Rugby take it serious?
— Christian Hansen (@Hansen33) September 21, 2022
Having just watched it from a better angle, Darcy Swain's disgusting foul on Tupaea is one of the most cynical plays I've ever seen between the ABs and the Wallabies. A real insult to the rivalry. Disgraceful. Hope he gets a lengthy ban.
— rkdemay (@rkdemay) September 16, 2022
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