SA Rugby

All Blacks captain Sam Cane receives first ever red card in World Cup final

The 31-year-old flanker was sent off for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel

New Zealand captain Sam Cane made unwanted history after becoming the first men’s player ever to be shown a red card in a Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.

The 31-year-old back-rower had a yellow card upgraded to red by the TMO bunker after a high tackle on South Africa centre Jesse Kriel saw his shoulder make contact with the Springbok’s head.

Related: Shannon Frizell yellow card incident forces Mbonambi off in World Cup final

Cane left the field in the 29th minute after referee Wayne Barnes initially showed him yellow before TMO Tom Foley later told Barnes that the card would become red as there was a high degree of danger with no obvious mitigating factors.

Watch Sam Cane red card tackle on Jesse Kriel in World Cup final

It was the All Blacks’ second card of the game after Cane’s fellow flanker Shannon Frizell was shown yellow for a dangerous clearout on Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi after just three minutes of the final at the Stade de France.

Frizell was sin-binned as his weight fell dangerously on Mbonambi’s lower limbs. The South African No 2 was forced from the field after a lengthy period of treatment. That meant versatile Deon Fourie would be forced to play 77 minutes in the front row.

Before tonight, only one man had been shown a card in a World Cup final. That also was shown to a New Zealander as All Blacks wing Ben Smith was sin-binned in the 2015 victory over Australia at Twickenham.

The All Blacks have now received three cards in World Cup finals, two yellow and one red, while no other nation has been sanctioned with a card in the biggest game of all.

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