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All Blacks sweating on Thomson tour ban for stamp


Flanker Adam Thomson could be banned for the rest of the tour

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Article Published: Monday 12 November 2012


The All Blacks and coach Steve Hansen are anxiously awaiting a decision on whether flanker Adam Thomson will be ruled out of the rest of their European tour for disciplinary reasons.

Thomson faces a ban after being investigated by the citing commissioner for an alleged stamp on the head of Scotland opposite number Al Strokosch during New Zealand's victory at Murrayfield.

Home coach Andy Robinson made it clear he reckoned the contest could have been much closer had Thomson been red carded instead of just receiving a yellow.

Robinson said: "The touch judge had a very good view - it is now in the hands of the citing commissioner."

When it was suggested to Robinson that any contact between boot and head usually merits a straight dismissal, he replied: "You would think so."

Thomson faces being banned for the rest of the trip if found guilty of violent conduct.

Hansen believes the offence was not as serious as it looked on TV.

He said: "Someone will take a look at it and decide if it was malicious or reckless. I suggest it was just reckless.

"I didn't see it at the time but I saw the replay. It looked like Adam was frustrated - he placed his boot on the guy's head, but he didn't stomp him."

Hansen, who will now turn his focus on the clash with Italy, added: "Scotland came at us with a lot of physical intent, but our guys did some wonderful things.

"Dan Carter obviously caused them a lot of problems, but his job was made easier by scrum half Piri Weepu.

"Piri has been under a lot of pressure lately, however I though he was fantastic out there."

Scotland were under pressure from the start and they infringed at the opening ruck - handing Carter an instant pot at goal, which he landed.

Then came the moment that sent the home crowd into raptures.

Carter was back in the spotlight for negative reasons as his floated pass was snatched by Matt Scott, who scuttled into enemy territory.

With the New Zealand markers committed upfield, he popped the ball to winger Visser, who was left with a cruise to the line from 20 metres out - leaving the stage clear for Greig Laidlaw to slot the angled conversion.

Carter made immédiate amends by twice getting involved in a well-controlled move which paved the way for full-back Israel Dagg to sprint through for the first Kiwi score. Carter added the extras.

Scotland replied in positive fashion and quickly levelled the issue via the boot of Laidlaw from close range.

Carter restored his team's advantage after Scott held on to a rival too long in the tackle inside his own danger zone.

That was the cue for New Zealand to crank up the pace and a marvellous flowing sequence featuring accurate passing created the time and space for winger Julian Savea to collect his side's second try.

Carter's conversion was from the widest possible angle - but he made it look easy.

The destiny of the match was effectively sealed less than two minutes later as the other wing, Cory Jane, skidded over in the corner - Carter again finding the target.

Hooker Andrew Hore was next to break through, taking advantage of slack tackling deep inside the 22-area. Carter kept his perfect conversion tally.

Scott claimed a stoppage time touchdown for the hosts, but the video ref ruled he had not grounded the ball.

But there was still enough time for prop Geoff Cross to burrow over from point-blank range - Laidlaw slotting the kick to slash the gap to 17 points.

Scotland were certainly looking the hungrier outfit and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope with another score.

Great tackling forced the Kiwis to surrender possession close to their line - and Visser was in the right place at the right time to scoop up the ball and finish with ease.

Carter eased any anxiety with his third penalty and after soaking up a pile of Scottish pressure, Savea pounced again at the other end.

Centre Ben Smith added another after slick work by Carter, whose conversion broke the half-century barrier.

 
 
Rugby Championship Standings
Nation Games Points    
P W L D PF PA PD BP Ttl
1. New Zealand 4 3 0 1 105 51 54 2 16
2. South Africa 4 2 2 0 79 75 4 2 10
3. Australia 4 2 1 1 88 111 -23 0 10
4. Argentina 4 0 4 0 71 106 -35 3 3
                     
Updated each Monday in order to verify with officials
 
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