New Zealand criticise Darcy Swain for ‘free shot’ on Quinn Tupaea

·2-min read
Swain was given a yellow card for a dangerous clean-out in Thursday’s match  (Getty Images)
Swain was given a yellow card for a dangerous clean-out in Thursday’s match (Getty Images)

New Zealand remain unhappy with Australia lock Darcy Swain after his “free shot” on Quinn Tupaea in Melbourne last week left the midfielder with a season-ending injury.

Swain was given a yellow card for a dangerous clean-out that forced centre Tupaea off the pitch with a serious knee injury during the All Blacks’ 39-37 win on Thursday.

Swain will face a judicial hearing later on Monday and may be slapped with a lengthy ban if found guilty.

All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett was asked on Monday if his team had a position on the incident.

“We do, we do,” he told reporters at a media conference in Auckland. “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 agreed with his teammate that Swain was culpable.

“Injuries happen in rugby but some can be controlled,” he said.

Swain’s clean-out triggered outrage in New Zealand but Wallabies coach Dave Rennie defended him after the test, while prop Allan Alaalatoa said Swain was “devastated” by Tupaea’s injury.

“There was no intention there to injure him the way that he did,” Alaalatoa told reporters on Monday.

“I’ve seen some of his close mates (on the team) just throw the arm around him because he’s probably copping a fair bit on social media at the moment.”

With Tupaea having come off the bench to replace David Havili, who was also forced off due to a head knock, Barrett’s brother Jordie moved from fullback to inside centre.

Beauden Barrett, who slotted in at fullback, was impressed with his brother’s showing at 12.

“I thought he went really well. It’s a position that isn’t too foreign. He played a lot (there) at school for Lincoln and Canterbury and Under-20’s.

“I don’t know what it will mean for this week but he has some desire to play there.”

New Zealand’s win in Melbourne sealed the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the trans-Tasman nations, for a 20th successive year while putting the defending champions top of the Rugby Championship table, level on 14 points with South Africa.

Victory over Australia at Eden Park in the final round this weekend will be enough for New Zealand to claim back-to-back titles if Argentina can upset South Africa in Durban.

Smith said Australia, who have not won at Eden Park since 1986, would look to pick a team to “beat up” the All Blacks.

“It’s massive. It’s a final. To be a part of game like this is very special,” he said.