All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s tackle on France's Remy Grosso deemed 'just short of' red card by citing commissioner

All Black prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi's tackle on French winger Remy Grosso in the first Test between New Zealand and France was deemed "just short of" red card level by independent citing commissioner Freek Burger.

As a result, Tu'ungafasi has received a citing commissioner warning for a breach of Law 9.13.

In the opinion of Burger, there were mitigating factors which prevented the conduct from being a red card level red card level.

These included Grosso's low body position lowering as he went into contact with Sam Cane, who affected the tackle initially, immediately before Tu'ungafasi joined a dynamic tackle situation.

No further action was warranted against Cane with the commissioner deeming the on-field  penalty against him to be sufficient punishment.

Grosso suffered two facial fractures in the 59th minute tackle.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen defended Tu’ungafasi after the match, saying the All Black prop did not intend to injure Grosso.

Steve Hansen said Sam Cane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi's tackle on French winger Remmy Grosso was completely accidental. Source: 1 NEWS


Tu’ungafasi also took to Twitter to wish Grosso well in his recovery.

France's Remy Grosso (C runs into All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi (L) and Sam Cane (R during the Steinlager Series rugby match between the All Blacks and France at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday the 9th of June 2018. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville /
France's Remy Grosso was injured in a tackle involving All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi (L) and Sam Cane. Source: Photosport


Watch: 'That's just what Sam does' - Scott Barrett applauds captain's 'awesome' efforts after coming back from injury

Scott Barrett has heaped praise on stand-in All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock for his ability to lead on the field despite not having played for nearly a month.

Whitelock captained the All Blacks in their 52-11 win over France on Saturday night - his first match after being sidelined for three weeks with a head knock he sustained while playing for the Crusaders.

He also played the entire 80 minutes of the match - an effort Barrett says epitomises the character of the lock.

"Having not played for several weeks, and to nut out 80 that’s just what Sam does," he said.

"I think he’s an awesome leader and he leads with his actions around the field... he’s a valuable player and he’s awesome to play alongside."

Whitelock is captaining the side in Kieran Read's stead for the three-Test series while the No.8 continues to recover from back surgery.

Barrett said Sam Whitelock leads by his actions around the field. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: Ben Smith cracks up after reporter tells him he's old enough to be Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane's dad

He may be nearly old enough to be their dad, but Ben Smith is just enjoying playing in the All Blacks' back three alongside young stars Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett - and he's adamant he's keeping up with them.

Smith, 32, was told by a reporter he was old enough to be a fatherly figure towards Ioane and Barrett, who are both 21.

He admitted it wasn't something he ever thought about.

"I suppose I'm early thirties, so I know I’m getting on a wee bit, but as far as my body goes I’m feeling bloody good and yeah still trying to chase around those young fellas," he said.

Smith was shifted from his usual role at fullback to the wing for the All Blacks' first Test against France with Barrett taking the No.15 jersey - a shift he said he didn't mind.

"To me it doesn’t really worry me if I’m playing on the wing or at fullback.

"I think the way the game's being played now, there's certain times in the game where you end up in a few of those positions anyway.

"So I enjoyed getting out there on the wing, and working alongside Jordie and Rieko to try and do our bit for the team back there was enjoyable."

Smith says despite the age gap, he still keeps up with the "young fellas". Source: 1 NEWS