Fans think All Blacks star should have been sent off for high hit on Marcus Smith - Ruck

Fans think All Blacks star should have been sent off for high hit on Marcus Smith

During the England vs. All Blacks clash this morning, a significant head contact involving Marcus Smith went unnoticed.

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New Zealand narrowly defeated England 16-15 in a thrilling opening Test in Dunedin, marking a successful start to Scott Robertson’s tenure as head coach.

Damian McKenzie converted two second-half penalties to erase England’s lead after Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s try had put the visitors ahead by five points.

The teams were tied at halftime, with Sevu Reece and Ardie Savea scoring for New Zealand, while Maro Itoje’s try, converted by Marcus Smith, accounted for England’s points. Smith, however, missed three of his five kicks, including one close to the posts.

A fan posted on X: “Marcus Smith should’ve had an HIA & Barrett off for this head contact.”

Another replied: “The Kiwis were lucky – a couple of high tackles were missed as well…”

A second fan added: “I mean they ignored head contact both ways and offsides, they only paid attention to certain areas this game.”

Another commented: “Southern hemisphere is miles behind with regards to head injuries.”

Below, we look at what changes Steve Borthwick could make for next weekend’s clash with the All Blacks at Eden Park.

#1. Marcus Smith

Rugby Pass 5/10: “Inexcusable miss in front of the posts early in the second half, but bounced back immediately with some passes timed to absolute perfection as England scored their second. After being penned back in the first half due to New Zealand’s territorial supremacy, he was able to express himself much more after the break as England gained more control. Unfortunately, two kicks from five are the statistics that can define Test matches though, and that might well have been the case in Dunedin”

Telegraph 6/10: “Missed two sitters off the tee which England had to take. Didn’t love the grubber when England were attacking well but two slick passes before Feyi-Waboso’s score. Bottom line, the missed points were critical. “

Replacement: Fin Smith is waiting the wings, but we’d give Marcus another run out next weekend