ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

All Blacks star facing suspension for Rugby Championship

Author
Christopher Reive,
Publish Date
Sun, 25 Jun 2023, 1:52pm

All Blacks star facing suspension for Rugby Championship

Author
Christopher Reive,
Publish Date
Sun, 25 Jun 2023, 1:52pm

Anton Lienert-Brown has a nervous wait ahead of him after a challenge that saw him sent from the field in the Chiefs’ loss in the Super Rugby Pacific final against the Crusaders.

The 56-test All Blacks midfielder was shown a yellow card for a face-to-face tackle with Crusaders wing Dallas McLeod, with Lienert-Brown failing to lower his height when attempted to tackle McLeod, who had just caught the ball from a kick.

The collision saw Lienert-Brown parked for 10 minutes and, after a TMO review, the punishment remained as such. McLeod was taken from the field for a head injury assessment and did not return to the match.

While Lienert-Brown was able to play on, the citing commissioner has ruled the incident met the red card threshold for foul play. Lienert-Brown is alleged to have contravened law 9.13 (a player must not tackle an opponent dangerously) and his case will be considered by the Sanzaar foul play review committee on Monday.

For the matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered.

Anton Lienert-Brown of the Chiefs tackles Dallas McLeod of the Crusaders during the Super Rugby Pacific Final match between Chiefs and Crusaders at FMG Stadium Waikato on June 24. Photo / Hannah Peters / Getty Images

Anton Lienert-Brown of the Chiefs tackles Dallas McLeod of the Crusaders during the Super Rugby Pacific Final match between Chiefs and Crusaders at FMG Stadium Waikato on June 24. Photo / Hannah Peters / Getty Images

The low-end penalty for the offence is a two-match suspension, while the mid-range penalty is a six-match stand-down. There was no malice in the incident, so it would be a surprise to see it penalised as a mid-range offence. Several players who submitted guilty pleas to a breach of the same law this season were handed three-week suspensions, including Blues flanker Dalton Papali’i.

Any suspension would likely see Lienert-Brown’s availability for the All Blacks’ first run of games for the year impacted, starting with their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Mendoza on July 9.

Lienert-Brown’s card not being upgraded to a red on the night was one of several calls in the game questioned by fans and pundits, the other big one being a Crusaders pass that appeared to be clearly forward not being pulled up.

While the Crusaders lost McLeod, who heard his name read out in the All Blacks for the first time when Ian Foster announced his Rugby Championship squad, for the match, Chay Fihaki came on and handled an extended role well under the additional pressure of the final.

The Crusaders again showed their knack for stepping up in the big games, benefiting from a lopsided penalty count and three Chiefs yellow cards to close out their seventh title in as many years.

Of the points they scored in the 25-20 win, 22 were chalked up during the 30 minutes in which they had the numbers advantage.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you