All Blacks coach Ian Foster says there is a danger in doing away with red cards in rugby.

New Zealand and Australia both had players sent off during the first half of the Wallabies upset 24-22 win in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Some pundits, including former All Black wing Sir John Kirwan, spoke strongly after the match, saying red cards ruined the spectacle of a match and should be replaced by a report system.

Speaking to media on Sunday, Foster commented on that perspective.

“I totally get that argument to one extent but the flip-side of it is it’s a very physical game and, if we don’t have clear boundaries, then it becomes really hard for everyone to play the skillful game that they need to.

“Hats off to Aussie, they pushed things and did it with a bit of control and got the result that they desperately wanted.”

The player sent off for the All Blacks was Ofa Tu’ungafasi, the prop and Wallabies flanker Lachie Swinton both red-carded for what were deemed dangerous high tackles.

The Blues front-rower would face a Sanzar judicial hearing via video conference on Monday night.

Foster believed they could prevent any further sanction for Tu’ungafasi.

“We’ve got to write a supporting argument about that situation. I saw two very different tackles in the two red cards in the game.

“Clearly we think there was some mitigation with Ofa’s tackle that we’ll highlight and we’ll see what happens.”

Regardless of the outcome there, Foster admitted they need to improve their ability to stay calm when matches became tense and heated.

The fourth consecutive clash between the trans-Tasman rivals included plenty of niggle, with both teams also having players yellow carded.

Foster said the nature of the All Blacks performance changed when Tu’ungafasi was sent off in the 22nd minute.

“That got us into a little bit of a negative mindset and it took us a little while to get through it.

“But I go back to the fact that once they got a red card as well, the game was very even at that point.

“No excuses, we needed to be calmer and I thought the Wallabies were a little bit better at that in the second half than we were.”


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