Gordon D’Arcy’s View On The Ireland & New Zealand Game Is An Excellent Read

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Gordon D’Arcy agrees with most and believe that New Zealand should have been punished for their behaviour.

The former Ireland and Leinster centre believes, as do most, that the tackler is responsible for what happens in a collision and as a result, should suffers the consequences of his actions.

“It’s not about the hit. It’s about the truth behind the hit.” D’Arcy writes.

And it’s not about how the referee and TMO got it so badly wrong in the immediate aftermath. A citing commissioner from New Zealand decided there was a case to answer because the tackler is responsible for what happens in a collision.

That is why CJ Stander was red carded in South Africa, that is why Keith Earls was red carded against Glasgow.”

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D’Arcy goes onto explain it’s not the nature of their win but their dishonesty in how they played.

This isn’t about New Zealand winning the match primarily through an overly-physical approach – which they did. The problem is the condescending element, whereby they claim the performance was nothing out of the ordinary. Why they can’t come out and say ‘Yeah we played right on the edge because we didn’t want to risk losing another match to Ireland, so we went back to basics as we knew we could beat them in that area.’

If this was the Springboks we wouldn’t bat an eyelid; we saw it on the 2009 Lions tour when South Africa bashed their way to the series, all the while using acts of indiscipline as a weapon. The All Blacks pride themselves on overcoming every challenge presented to them by playing expressive rugby. The first time they were put under serious pressure in 2016 and they resort to what most teams need to do to win such test matches. They ground it out.

Why not just come out and say that we knew we had to overpower Ireland to win? Don’t be disingenuous and say that’s how we play week-in, week-out. Come out and say: Ireland put us under so much pressure we reverted to an ultra-physical approach. Are they able to say that?

No because heavy suspensions would inevitably follow.

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D’Arcy also comments on the officials on the day and their inconsistency.

When Cane took out Henshaw, Jaco Peyper instantly blew his whistle for a high tackle before going to the TMO (who saw something only Steve Hansen and the New Zealand media saw). Yet when Fekitoa’s forearm was slung around Simon Zebo’s head, Peyper only turned to his touch judge to confirm a high tackle and yellow card. Touch judge Ian Davies nodded in agreement after Peyper’s statement/question. The TMO Jon Mason remained silent as far as we could hear from the ref link.

I’d say not long after kick-off Peyper knew he was in the firing line between the world’s top two coaches. Mainly because Ireland showed they had the potential to win the game. He may or may not have realised he was being played, that he was a tactical tool to brutally ensure this did not happen.

He may have wondered: will I have to red card an All Black here?

What do you think of D’Arcy’s fresh and interesting approach to the game? Have a read of his full article here. We highly recommend it.

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