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Most high tackles are accidental, says All Black Moody

Quill was shown a red card for a shoulder charge to the head of England’s Owen Farrell on Thursday in Kobe, which drew sharp criticism from the rugby world.

Joe Moody training with the All Blacks.

Joe Moody training with the All Blacks.Credit:Getty Images

Moody, who was the subject of claims of foul play from South African fans following New Zealand’s victory over the Springboks, said players were aware of the crackdown but it often had little bearing on what happened on the field.

“We did get sat down before the tournament and told what they’re looking at and the suspensions,” Moody said on Friday. “So we are aware of it, [but] it’s not really in the forefront of your brain [when on the field].

“At the same time, you don’t go out to make high shots. I would say that 99.9% of the time it’s accidental slip-ups.”


Moody acknowledged that it would provide little comfort to those players who suffered head injuries in the tackle, but all the teams were working on their technique to keep the point of contact lower.

“There is a very fine line, especially if a player is falling or ducking,” he said.

“But at the same time, the best circumstances for the defender is that we practice to dip late and hit under the ball.

“For the majority of the time we are trying to get low, but [there are] ones where you get caught in a bad position and throw an arm out and hit high rather than getting under the ball.

“And it doesn’t really matter now whether it’s a heavy shot and a guy gets knocked out or it’s just a graze. If you’ve made contact with the head, you’ll still get the same penalty. You just have to stay away from getting anything up high.”


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