France wing Remy Grosso has a double fracture to his face after the high tackle by Ofa Tu'ungafasi in the All Blacks' big victory at Eden Park last night, an injury which will increase the pressure on the authorities to cite the prop.
Grosso, a try-scorer in France's 52-11 defeat and one of his team's best attacking players, was taken to hospital after the leaving the pitch. He faces a long recovery after Tu'ungafasi's right shoulder connected flush with his face in combination with a head-high tackle by Sam Cane a split second earlier.
The only sanction from English referee Luke Pearce and his fellow match officials was to penalise Cane for tackling above the shoulders. Earlier in the second half, France lock Paul Gabrillagues was yellow carded for a high tackle on Ryan Crotty, a harsh call from Pearce, who didn't ask for a review by the television match official.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen felt the yellow card for Gabrillagues was harsh, saying: "It was high but I don't think it was a yellow card personally, but I'm not the ref."
The All Blacks scored two tries while Gabrillagues was off, and then continued their momentum with an avalanche of points once he returned.
Not surprisingly, France coach Jacques Brunel felt Tu'ungafasi deserved to see a card for his illegal shot on Grosso. Given the high-impact nature of the tackle to Grosso's head, it probably should have been a red.
"The injury of Remy Grosso is quite serious," Brunel said through an interpreter after the test. "I don't know precisely what the problem is but he is at the hospital.
"I think that the way he was done by the All Blacks pair was illegal."
Last year, midfielder Sonny Bill Williams became the first All Black in 50 years to be sent off in a test for his no-arms tackle to the head of British & Irish Lions wing Anthony Watson in the All Blacks' second-test defeat in Wellington.
Brunel said of the performance of his team, who led 11-8 at halftime: "The first half was good… for the second half … the yellow card [for Gabrillagues] was key.
"It was very hard to fight with the All Blacks after that.
"Yellow card or not yellow card, we had to deal with it," he said.
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