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By Patrick McKendry in Tokyo
The World Cup card epidemic has finally caught up with the All Blacks, props Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi sinbinned for high tackles during their team’s 11-try romp over Namibia at Tokyo Stadium.
Given the number being handed out at this tournament, it had to happen sooner or later. Laulala was shown a yellow card for connecting with Namibia wing Lesley Klim’s head near the end of the first half and 40 minutes later replacement Tuungafasi was sinbinned for connecting with an opponent’s neck.
The Laulala decision at least was fairly clear-cut and neither he nor coach Steve Hansen should complain about referee Pascal Gauzere’s decision, the official deciding Klim’s falling motion into the tackle a mitigating factor against a red card.
Like many foul play decisions in Japan over the past couple of weeks it required a check from television match official Rowan Kitt, but to Gauzere’s credit he saw the collision live and asked his English colleague to check it.
It didn’t affect the All Blacks much as their opponents, ranked 23rd in the world, were begi
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