Swain cops six-week ban for Tupaea offence
September 22, 2022 / 9:52 pm
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has defended Darcy Swain as the lock received a six- week ban for a cleanout that left New Zealand’s Quinn Tupaea with a season- ending knee injury.
The ugly incident marred the opening half of last week’s Bledisloe Cup opener, won in dramatic fashion by the All Blacks 39-37 in Melbourne.
Tupaea ruptured his medial cruciate ligament and partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after Swain entered a ruck and made firm contact with the All Black’s outstretched leg.
Swain received a yellow card at the time but was cited after last week’s Bledisloe Cup match at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.
On the night, Rennie said Swain was unlucky to be yellow-carded. On Thursday, he accepted the Sanzaar ban.
“It was clumsy and reckless. There’s no malice in that,” he said.
“It met the red card threshold and he got punished accordingly.”
Swain was found guilty of contravening Law 9.11 that “players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others”.
The act was not found to be intentional but “highly reckless”.
Swain will miss Tests against Scotland and France in the Wallabies’ northern hemisphere swing from the ban.
It also denies him a trip to Eden Park, where the All Blacks are seething from what Beauden Barrett labelled a “free shot” on a “sitting duck”.
New Zealand coach Ian Foster fumed after the win, but mellowed when asked on Thursday when he learnt of the punishment.
“It is what it is … so he’s got what he’s got,” he said.
Rennie said Swain spoke to Tupaea after the match and reached out again after he found out the extent of the injury.
In defending his player, Rennie also claimed officials missed a similar cleanout that sent one of his players to the treatment table.
The Wallabies coach said Scott Sio suffered a hamstring injury at the hands of All Blacks prop Fletcher Newell, an action that went unpunished.
“I hear they’re fuming,” Rennie said of Foster’s side.
“I mean we’re not that excited by Fletcher Newell’s cleanout on Scott Sio which leaves him out for three weeks and (Newell) didn’t get cited or carded.
“(Swain) has been punished and six weeks is a hefty punishment I reckon … but Fletcher Newell gets to live another day.”
Swain will also miss next month’s Australia A tour of Japan, the squad for which he was controversially named in this week for what some felt was a ploy to use up his suspension.
The 25-year-old has played far more often for the Wallabies this season than any other Australia A squad member.
In making the ban time-related, rather than match-related, Sanzaar negated that issue.
AAP (C) 2022
Image: Darcy Swain has been handed a six-week ban by a judicial committee, ruling him out of three Tests. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)