Sam Cane has expressed his concern over being sent off in New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup final defeat, saying he will have to live with the red card “forever”.
The All Blacks captain was sent to the bunker for his high tackle on Jessie Kriel in the 29th minute and the yellow card was converted to a red card after 34 minutes.
His shoulder had hit Kriel’s head and after English referee Wayne Barnes dismissed the player, a review by the “bunker” deemed this to be extremely dangerous.
It was the first red card ever on rugby’s biggest stage and New Zealand ultimately lost 11-12 to South Africa after playing with 14 men for most of the game.
Cane said: “I’m not here to debate whether it was the right or wrong decision.” It cannot be changed. Unfortunately, it’s something I’ll have to live with forever.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane was sent off for a high tackle in the first half against South Africa
His attack on Jesse Kriel was deemed extremely dangerous by the bunker inspection officer
He had originally received a yellow card, but his red card made him the first male player ever to receive one in a Rugby World Cup final
“We’ve been here for two months now and everything about the head has consequences.
“At the time, when I didn’t even know it, it surprised me that he resigned.
‘[There’s] It hurts so much right now. It’s actually hard to find the words to explain it. “It’s hard because you feel so hurt, but at the same time you’re so proud of the group for how they fought back.”
The All Blacks may have thought they were safe after Shannon Frizzell escaped an upgrade for his earlier clash against Bongi Mbonambi.
Frizzell tried to touch the 32-year-old’s neck and drag the South African away before landing awkwardly on the back of his leg after an early jolt, but his yellow was not improved following a TMO review.
But the All Blacks didn’t let Cane’s sending off dictate the game as New Zealand were well in the game.
They controlled large parts of the second half and missed two opportunities to take the lead late on.
The Springboks secured their second consecutive World Cup title as New Zealand number 10 Richie Mo’unga missed Beauden Barrett’s try early in the game.
The All Blacks suffered huge distress in regular time when the New Zealand players hunkered down after giving their all on the pitch
South Africa won 12-11 at the Stade de France and defended their World Cup trophy after a narrow draw
Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s captain, could have been sent off himself after his high tackle on New Zealand striker Ardie Savea.
Head coach Ian Foster commented on Cane’s dismissal, pointing out that there may be a few “issues” that need to be “resolved” in rugby.
He said: “We’ll sort it out, it’s nerve-wracking for him and frustrating for us.” The game has a few issues that need to be resolved.
“These are not sour grapes.” There were two similar incidents and one involved a red, one a yellow.’