Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders hope Pablo Matera will be available for the final after red card against the Chiefs

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is hoping that Argentinian flank Pablo Matera will be available for the Super Rugby Pacific final after being sent off in the last-four contest.

Matera was shown two yellow cards and a subsequent red as the Christchurch side downed the Chiefs 20-7.

The first yellow was due to an accumulation of penalties from the Crusaders, while the second was for a dangerous tackle from the loose forward.

Only a penalty

Robertson believes the former Los Pumas captain was not hugely at fault in the tackle and that it should have only been a penalty.

“A lot of those tackles could have been slowed down, and I thought what Pablo did, I personally thought, was a penalty,” Robertson said.

The tactician, who took charge of his 100th game for the Crusaders, is hopeful that Matera will be allowed to play in the Super Rugby final against an impressive Blues side.

“It wasn’t a red card. The red card goes to judiciary. Just because he got one yellow for a head-on, and the other one was for obviously not rolling away, we don’t believe mitigates to going to the judiciary,” Robertson said.

“If that’s a red card, you’re on your way. We’re hopeful he’ll be available.

“We know red cards with head contact go to the judiciary, but it was yellow card, and there was a lot of mitigating factors, so we think the on-field sanction was enough.

“I don’t want to get too much over the top, but it’s what we’re planning for.”

All Black Sam Whitelock was forced to withdraw from the game just before kick-off due to injury. However, this was not unexpected according to Robertson, who said they had been monitoring the second-row all week.

“We gave him the opportunity to get there, right to the end, but it just wasn’t quite right,” Robertson said.

“He had a splint on the last game, actually, that we played, so he carried it through the week, trained okay, just got to today and we thought it would be better than it is, but it wasn’t, so hopefully it heals for next week.”

READ MORE: Super Rugby Pacific highlights: Crusaders hold off Chiefs to reach final

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