All Blacks captain Sam Cane says he has “so many shitty emotions” after creating history when he became the first man to be handed a red card in a Rugby World Cup final.
In the 28th minute, Cane was originally sent off for a yellow card that was upgraded after his shoulder made contact with Springboks centre Jesse Kriel in the 28th minute. Initially sent for 10 minutes in the bin, the tackle was reviewed and deemed a red by the TMO match official Tom Foley.
Cane would rue the tackle with the Springboks going on to win the final 12-11, playing the majority with an extra man on the field. Speaking to Jeff Wilson on Sky Sports after the awards ceremony, Cane said the red card was deserved.
“We know that collisions need to be low. If anything I got caught a bit surprised that he stepped back in my direction. It’s no excuse. We’ve been here for two months and we’ve seen how things have been ruled. Hugely disappointed.
Asked about how he felt, the captain was blunt.
“Obviously so many shitty emotions, on a personal level and on behalf of the team. Mixed in there is a heck of a lot of pride with the way the boys fought out there tonight, gave ourselves an opportunity. They’re just a bunch of warriors.
“So gutted. So proud of how far we’ve come. It hurts so much to fall at the final hurdle and probably the style that we did.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster told Wilson the team “gave it everything” and the result was “heartwrenching”.
“The red card really put us behind the eight-ball but I was just so proud of the way we hung in there and really fought our way back.
“We had a lot of momentum in that second half. I can’t ask for a lot more from them. I thought we did everything we [could] but South Africa are a strong team. They did well and deserved the win.”
- 'Done the country proud': Government congratulates All Blacks on World Cup performance
- 'TMO is an absolute disease': How world media reacted to ABs loss
- All Blacks captain Sam Cane given red card in final
Asked if he thought the All Blacks got the rub of the green, Foster didn’t think so.
“Ahhh, I don’t think we did. Sadly in that first half we were pretty frustrated with a number of things that were happening. [In] finals football, you’ve got to make your own luck. We weren’t getting any handed to us... so to come back and do what we did I thought speaks volumes where this group is at and how much we wanted it for the country.”
Sam Whitelock, who played his final test today, said “everyone is obviously gutted”.
“I know everyone back home will be gutted just as much as we are. You can’t fault the effort. The boys worked hard out there tonight and we just weren’t good enough to get one point. It’s going to hurt for a very long long time.”
Meanwhile, Beauden Barrett, who now has a first, second and third finish at a World Cup said the team never gave up hope.
“Proud... gutted... it was right there. But proud because we believed the whole game. At halftime, with 14 men we knew we had this game we had plenty of opportunities. We’ve got a hell of a group. We worked so hard. The last 16 months had been huge for us. Just wasn’t our night tonight.”
Cane is just the 11th All Blacks player to be shown a red card.
In Cane’s hometown of Reporoa, the Woolshed Tavern opened early for the final. Ngakuru resident Jamal Treanor, watching from Cane’s hometown pub said the red card decision was “bloody shit; it’s an absolute ripoff. It’s a shocker.”
But Treanor said it is “the World Cup final”.
”They’re not there for tiddlywinks as Tana Umaga said.”
Despite receiving two yellow cards themselves, the Springboks would march on to win the match 12-11 after 80 minutes. In the 45th minute, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was sent to the sin-bin after a high head-on-head tackle on Ardie Savea. Later, with eight minutes left, winger Cheslin Kolbe was sent for 10 minutes after a deliberate knock-on near halfway.
All Blacks red cards
Cyril Brownlee v England 1925 - Kicked an English player on the ground
Colin Meads v Scotland 1967 - Kicked Scotland five-eighth David Chisholm
Sonny Bill Williams v Lions 2017 - Connecting with his shoulder to the head of Lions wing Anthony Watson
Scott Barrett v Australia 2019 - Dangerous shoulder to the head of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper
Ofa Tu’angifasi v Australia 2020 - High contact on Wallabies winger Tom Wright
Jordie Barrett v Australia 2021 - Collecting Marika Koroibete in the head with boot
Brodie Retallick v Japan 2022 - Dangerous clean-out on loose forward Kazuki Himeno
Angus Ta’avao v Ireland 2022 - Colliding heads while attempting to tackle Ireland centre Garry Ringrose
Scott Barrett v South Africa 2023 - Two yellow cards
Ethan de Groot v Namibia 2023 - High contact on Namibian loose forward Adriaan Booysen
Luke Kirkness is an Online Sports Editor for the NZ Herald. He previously covered consumer affairs for the Herald and was an assistant news director in the Bay of Plenty. He won Student Journalist of the Year in 2019.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you