Rugby: Michael Cheika blames Retallick for elbow to head

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has deflected the blame, citing Brodie Retallick for a play that has Aussie flanker Dean Mumm suspended for one game.

Mumm was cited for striking Retallick with his elbow in the 52nd minute of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test in Auckland and received a one match ban today from the judiciary.

The elbow appeared to hit Retallick around the neck or head region and was therefore deemed to have met the red card threshold by the citing commissioner, though the incident wasn't picked up by referee Nigel Owens at the time.

However, Cheika thinks it's Retallick's own fault for holding back the flanker illegally.

"I don't want to talk about it too much because there's a hearing to go but he [the citing commissioner] is not looking at all the action," Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"He [Mumm] is trying to get back from being held illegally."

Retallick can be seen holding on to Mumm just moments before the elbow, but the swinging arm warranted more attention.

Retallick could miss the All Blacks' end of year tour to Chicago and Europe due to concussion, but it is unclear whether this was linked to the elbow incident.

Wellington's Vaea Fifita is on standby to join the team in the US if Retallick fails concussion protocols.

- NZ Herald

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