Rugby: All Black escapes further punishment for dangerous tackle

Joe Moody (above) has been issued an official warning for a head-high tackle on Argentina's Guido Petti during their Rugby Championship Test.
Joe Moody (above) has been issued an official warning for a head-high tackle on Argentina's Guido Petti during their Rugby Championship Test.PHOTO: AFP

Hamilton, New Zealand (AFP) - All Blacks prop Joe Moody was on Sunday issued an official warning for a head-high tackle on Argentina's Guido Petti during their Rugby Championship Test.

The decision to take no further action comes at a time when rugby authorities face growing accusations of leniency towards the world champions.

Moody was penalised for the tackle shortly before half-time in the Test, won by New Zealand 57-22, but South African referee Craig Joubert ruled no other action was required.

In a statement on Sunday, the game citing commissioner said Moody had since received an official warning for a dangerous tackle.

A citing commissioner can issue a warning for "foul play incidents that are very close to, but in his opinion do not meet the red card threshold for citings," the statement said.

The All Blacks have been under fire since their Test against Australia two weeks ago when there were suggestions prop Owen Franks had gouged the eyes of Wallabies lock Kane Douglas.

Franks was not cited with officials deciding there was no case to answer.

Douglas said no contact had been made with his eyes. But that did not stop howls of outrage led by former Irish international Brian O'Driscoll who tweeted: "It makes a mockery of citing. If nothing comes of this it's a farce."

British rugby writer Stephen Jones labelled the incident "unpunished All Black savagery" while former Wallaby Matt Burke said it was "beyond belief" that Franks was not punished.

"I'm actually surprised Douglas wasn't penalised for making contact with Franks' fingers," Burke said. "That's how much subliminal influence these blokes have on referees.

"It's the people who are supposed to adjudicate without bias but are being bluffed by those wearing black."