Swain banned for six weeks for hit on Tupaea

Wallabies lock Darcy Swain has been suspended for six weeks for the dangerous clearout that left All Blacks back Quinn Tupaea with a serious knee injury.

Darcy Swain.
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A SANZAAR judicial hearing found Swain guilty of the offence after he was cited following last week’s controversial Bledisloe Cup match in Melbourne, which was won by the All Blacks.

Swain has been banned up to and including November 6.

The judiciary deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks.

The All Blacks were unhappy with Swain after what they called a “free shot” on Tupaea in Melbourne, with the midfielder now sidelined for up to three months.

Swain was given a yellow card for a dangerous clean-out at the time.

Before Swain’s hearing, All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett was asked if his team had a position on the incident

“We do, we do,” he said.

“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.”

Darcy Swain of the Wallabies.

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith agreed with his team mate 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 the lock after the test and disagreed with the yellow card, saying Tupaea’s injury was unfortunate but not intentional.

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 second-five.

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.

RNZ/Reuters

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