New Zealand are still angry over the injury Quinn Tupaea sustained during their Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia.
Darcy Swain targeted the leg of Tupaea as the centre attempted to turn over the ball and it resulted in the All Black sustaining a ruptured medial cruciate ligament injury.
Swain was only yellow carded at the time by referee Mathieu Raynal but has since been cited for his indiscretion.
“I feel for Quinn. He basically didn’t see it coming, he was a sitting duck. It was a bit of a free shot. We don’t like to see these sorts of injuries,” Beauden Barrett told reporters.
Aaron Smith agreed with his half-back team-mate, insisting that Swain could have avoided making contact with the All Blacks centre in the Rugby Championship encounter.
“Injuries happen in rugby but some can be controlled,” he said.
However, Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa came to the defence of the lock, with the front-rower saying that it was not ‘intentional.’
“There was no intention there to injure him the way that he did,” Alaalatoa told reporters.
“I’ve seen some of his close mates (on the team) just throw the arm around him because he’s probably copping a fair bit on social media at the moment.”
The actions of referee Raynal and Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley also remained a talking point, with the Australia playmaker penalised for time-wasting.
It set up the position for New Zealand to score the match-winning try but, despite the anger of the Australians over the call, Barrett is adamant they would follow the instructions of the match official if the situation was reversed.
“You’re always aware of the referee – they’re the ones in charge so yes, you play the game a little bit and wait for that warning if you try to run down the clock before you kick the ball out or play on, whatever it is,” the All Blacks playmaker said.
“Of course, if we’re the ones with the ball and the ref asks us to get on with it we do.”
Speeding up the game
Barrett also insists that he wants the law more strictly enforced in the future so that it would speed up the game.
“I think as a fan you don’t want stoppages – you want to see a free-flowing game and certainly to play it, I think fitter players should be rewarded by less stoppages and keeping the ball in play,” he said.
“It’s basically a better product of rugby so yeah that suits me and it suits New Zealand rugby for sure so hopefully we’re trending in the right direction.”