All Blacks lock Scott Barrett free to play after red card against Springboks at Twickenham
New Zealand’s Scott Barrett, centre, is shown a second yellow cart and sent off by referee Matthew Carley of England, during the rugby union international match between South Africa and New Zealand, at Twickenham stadium in London, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
DUBLIN (AP) — New Zealand lock Scott Barrett was cleared to play on Monday after a hearing into his automatic sending off against South Africa in a Rugby World Cup warmup.
A judiciary deemed the red card last Friday at Twickenham as sufficient punishment.
The news would be a relief for the All Blacks, who might have faced France in the World Cup opening game next week in Paris with only two available locks. Brodie Retallick was injured and any sanction for Barrett would have further exposed the All Blacks’ second row depth.
Barrett was issued a yellow card as a team penalty for persistent fringing against the Springboks in the first 14 minutes. Just before halftime he was yellow-carded again for reckless contact with the head of South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx in a ruck. The two yellows forced him off.
Down 14-0 and a man at the point, the All Blacks couldn’t compete with South Africa and were beaten 35-7, their heaviest defeat ever.
The judiciary decided Barrett’s sending off was enough of a sanction because the first yellow “was for a technical offense following a team warning.”
New Zealand meets France on Sept. 8 at Stade de France.
AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby