All Black Jordie Barrett's red card overturned
Perth (Australia) (AFP) –
A disciplinary tribunal has rescinded All Black Jordie Barrett's red card for dangerous play against Australia last weekend, leaving him free to play in the Rugby Championship, governing body SANZAAR said Wednesday.
Barrett was sent off during the first half of the All Blacks' 38-21 win in Perth on Sunday after his boot came into contact with Wallaby Marika Koroibete's face while leaping for the ball.
The fullback was charged with play that was "reckless or dangerous to others" but the SANZAAR judiciary met via video conference late Tuesday and found the contact was accidental.
Judicial committee chair Robert Stelzner said that a three-person panel cleared Barrett after viewing footage of the incident from all available angles.
"He legitimately went up in the air to collect a high ball, when -- in trying to regain his balance on the downward trajectory -- his boot inadvertently made contact with his opponent's head," Stelzner said in a statement.
"The accidental nature of the incident led the Judicial Committee to find that there was no intentional nor reckless act of dangerous play."
He said the red card would be expunged from Barrett's record.
The decision vindicates All Blacks coach Ian Foster's post-match comments, when he expressed surprise at the red card and argued Barrett "just lost balance".
The All Blacks are still in Perth preparing for their next Rugby Championship fixture against Argentina on Queensland's Gold Coast on Sunday.
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