Alan Quinlan: Fekitoa should have been sent off for Zebo tackle

Two New Zealand players were cited after the 21-9 win

BY Daniel Kelly 09:55 Monday 21 November 2016, 9:55 21 Nov 2016

New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa tackles Simon Zebo of Ireland high, resulting in a yellow card Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

"They certainly pushed the boundaries at being cynical and being overly aggressive".

Those were the words of former Ireland international and Newstalk Breakfast presenter Alan Quinlan on Monday morning, after New Zealand defeated Ireland 21-9 on Saturday evening.

Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa were both cited after the game for dangerous tackles, while Fekitoa and Aaron Smith were sent to the sin-bin. New Zealand gave away 14 penalties in the game.

"I don't think Sam Cane deliberately meant to hurt Rob Henshaw, but whether it's accidental or not, you need to take responsibility for your actions."

In the second-half. Fekitoa was sin-binned for a high tackle on Simon Zebo. Quinlan felt the tackle warranted a "straight red card".

After the match, head coach Steve Hansen defended the winger, who scored two tries in the win. "The one on the far side was obviously a little high... I don't think there was any malice in it."

Quinlan told Newstalk Breakfast's Shane Coleman that despite the issues with tackles, New Zealand were the better team in Dublin.

"They won and they deserved to win. I'm not sure if it was fair. I think the bigger picture here is not the result, but player welfare going forward. There's too many concussions."

"They were far more clinical. They scored three tries. The better team won the game."

"This is a safety issue. The referees have to make good decisions."  

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