Kiwis fuming at hasty send off - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kiwis fuming at hasty send off

By Steve Jancetic 14/10/2007 07:00:50 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand centre Steve Matai was given a slap on the wrist after being sent off in Sunday's trans-Tasman Test in Wellington, the decision doing little to appease Kiwi officials livid at being left one man short for much of the match.

Matai was given his marching orders in the 24th minute of Australia's 58-0 romp at Westpac Stadium after he raced out of the line and hit Mark Gasnier with a late and high tackle.

A concussed Gasnier took no further part in the contest after being taken from the field on the back of a medicab.

Matai soon joined him, referee Steve Ganson sending him off after conferring with the video referee and a touch judge.

"It's a late hit mate, it's not acceptable, you're off," Ganson told a stunned Matai.

A hastily convened match review committee labelled it a careless high tackle, Matai saved from a more severe charge because his shoulder - not his arm - made contact with Gasnier's head.

A two-game ban became negligible as it applies to trial matches during Manly's NRL pre-season.

New Zealand coach Gary Kemble claimed Ganson erred by sending Matai off, a view reinforced by the light penalty.

The Kiwis trailed 12-0 at the time of the incident, Kemble adamant his men were well and truly in the contest at that point.

"We were still in the game and we've (come back from) that before," Kemble said.

"When was the last time somebody got sent off in a Test match?

"Usually they go on report and that's the end of it so you've got 13 players out there."

Matai later apologised to Gasnier though it is doubtful the Australian three-quarter would have remembered it with Gasnier still suffering severe headaches after the game.

"He just came to there late in the game, he could shower and change," Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart said of Gasnier's health.

"But at halftime he couldn't open his eyes, he thought he was in Melbourne, he's been very sick."

Stuart claimed the hit warranted a send off and admitted he had warned his side of Ganson's inclination to give players their marching orders, as evidenced when he sent Great Britain forward Adrian Morley from the field in a clash against Australia in England some years ago.

"It was late and it was a cheap shot and it's in his game," Stuart said of Matai.

Kangaroos medical staff said they didn't expect Gasnier to suffer any lingering problems.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news