Swain cops six-week ban for Tupaea offence

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has defended Darcy Swain as the lock received a six-week suspension for a clean that left New Zealander Quinn Tupaea with a season-ending knee injury.

The ugly incident marred the first half of last week’s Bledisloe Cup opener, which the All Blacks won in Melbourne 39-37 in dramatic fashion.

Tupaea tore his medial cruciate ligament and partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after Swain went into a jerk and made firm contact with the All Black’s outstretched leg.

Swain received a yellow card at the time but was cited after last week’s Bledisloe Cup game at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.

On the night Rennie said Swain was unlucky to get a yellow card. On Thursday he accepted the sanzaar ban.

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“It was clumsy and reckless. There’s no malice in that,” he said.

“He reached the red card threshold and he was penalized accordingly.”

Swain was found guilty of violating Law 9.11, which states that “players shall not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others”.

The act was found not to be premeditated, but “highly reckless”.

Swain will miss Tests against Scotland and France in the Wallabies’ northern hemisphere.

It also denies him a trip to Eden Park, where the All Blacks are seething from what Beauden Barrett described as a “free shot” at a “sitting duck.”

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New Zealand manager Ian Foster was furious after the win but calmed down when asked about the punishment on Thursday.

“It is what it is … so he has what he has,” he said.

Rennie said Swain spoke to Tupaea after the game and called back after finding out the extent of the injury.

In defending his player, Rennie also claimed officers missed a similar cleaning that sent one of his players to the treatment table.

The Wallabies coach said Scott Sio sustained a hamstring injury at the hands of All Blacks mainstay Fletcher Newell, an action that went unpunished.

“I heard they’re angry,” Rennie said of Foster’s side.

“I mean, we’re not that thrilled about Fletcher Newell’s cleanout on Scott Sio, who skipped him for three weeks and (Newell) hasn’t been quoted or carded.

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“(Swain) was punished and six weeks is a severe sentence I think…but Fletcher Newell is getting to live one more day.”

Swain will also miss next month’s Australia A tour of Japan, the squad he was controversially named for this week because some said it was a ploy to use up his suspension.

The 25-year-old has played far more times for the Wallabies than any other member of Australia’s senior squad this season.

By making the ban time-related and not game-related, Sanzaar denied the problem.

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