All Blacks second-row Scott Barrett was sent off after he was shown two yellow cards in the first half against the Springboks at Twickenham.
The world champions flew out of the blocks and put the All Blacks under huge pressure with 18 of the first 20 minutes being played in New Zealand’s 22.
What comes from that kind of pressure is almost inevitably penalties which was the case for New Zealand and it led to yellow cards for Sam Cane and also Barrett’s first which he could possibly be excused for.
However, the same cannot be said for his second yellow card as he came flying into a ruck and struck Malcolm Marx on the head with his shoulder. It was a nasty collision and the yellow card was not upgraded but the citing commission can still take a closer look.
¡Qué momento para los All Blacks! Scott Barrett se fue expulsado en Twickenham. 🔴🇳🇿
¿Se perderá el partido inaugural de la #RWC2023 🆚🇫🇷?
— ScrumRugby (@ScrumESPN) August 25, 2023
This could be devastating for Barrett’s World Cup campaign which kicks off in the opener against France on September 8. It will be a massive loss considering the form that the Crusaders man has shown this year after he sparkled in the Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks do have decent options to replace Barrett if he is banned for a portion of the World Cup with veteran Brodie Retallick set to return from his injury soon – something which may have to be fast-tracked.
Tupou Vaa’i is another option who has shown good form at Test level whilst Josh Lord, who is not in the World Cup squad, is also a quality player.
All Blacks sweating over prop injury
The All Blacks will also be sweating over the fitness of Tyrel Lomax ahead of the World Cup opener against France after he was injured against South Africa.
Lomax departed the action with just 14 minutes played at Twickenham with what looked like a knee injury as he attempted to tackle full-back Damian Willemse.
The tighthead was helped from the field in a protective cast which would no doubt have worried not just All Blacks fans but also their head coach Ian Foster.
Jeesh, whoever thought the #RSAvsNZL ‘friendly’ was a good idea two weeks before the @rugbyworldcup? Listen, was always gonna be a great game to watch but the injury to Tyrel Lomax shows the gamble these teams are taking. pic.twitter.com/zTAYLkO3yU
— Michael O'Connor (@Grey_Sergeant) August 25, 2023
Viewers were expecting to see a twist to the knee for Lomax in the attempt to bring Willemse down but replays appeared to show that it was in fact a nasty cut that looks to have forced him off, which would obviously not be as serious for the All Blacks as they look to have him fit for the September 8 clash in Paris.