All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw could miss the Rugby World Cup final if he is deemed to have deliberately elbowed Francois Louw in this morning’s 20-18 semifinal victory over South Africa.
As he ran toward a ruck, 22 minutes into today’s last four showdown, McCaw’s elbow appears to make contact with Louw’s head. Louw got up straight after falling and joined the next ruck – where he then stood on the back of Aaron Smith.
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Louw, blood flowing from his forehead – apparently from another incident – had to go to the blood bin in the 29th minute at Twickenham.
He returned later with a bandage on his head and finished the game.
Louw finished the match with two wounds to his forehead requiring a total of 20 stitches.
When asked how he incurred the cuts, the Bath flanker said: “I’m not sure, I think it was at the bottom of a ruck”.
Striking with the elbow – which falls under law 10.4a of dangerous play and misconduct – has a low-end sanction of a two-week suspension.
The citing officer has up to 36 hours after the match has ended to lodge a complaint, setting 7pm on Monday (NZT) as the deadline.
After the match, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen praised 147-test veteran McCaw for his experience and impact on the game: “We’ve probably got the greatest skipper in the game, and probably the greatest player we’ve ever seen.”
The All Blacks will face either Australia or Argentina in the final with their Rugby Championship rivals meeting at Twickenham on Monday.
If McCaw gets banned for that ‘elbow’ the rugby world has gone bloody mad. Vines are a menace
— Ben Dirs (@bendirs1) October 24, 2015
Clearly differing views on that McCaw incident. pic.twitter.com/xj9FzLfjcn
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) October 24, 2015