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All Blacks' escape after red card divides Super Rugby coaches: Planet Rugby

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan admitted he was surprised that his team's captain Luke Jacobson was penalised after he had a head-to-head collision with Blues scrum-half Finlay Christie during Saturday's clash in Auckland.

Jacobson started at open flank in the Chiefs' 31-17 loss at Eden Park, the final regular season game for both teams in the Super Rugby Pacific.

Led with his head in the counterattack

In the 60th minute, with the Blues leading 26-7, the 27-year-old attempted a counterattack, but went head first and then grazed Ricky Riccitelli's shoulder and collided with Christie's head.

After initial contact with Riccitelli, the Blues tackler pushed Jacobson up, but the Chiefs captain had already collided with Christie at that point.

Referee Ben O'Keeffe asked TMO Glenn Newman to review the incident and after consultation with the referees, it was decided that a penalty was sufficient punishment for Jacobson's offence.

After the game, McMillan said: “To be honest, I was surprised it was a penalty.”

“Six-week ban in the north” – All Black gets no card for carrying out a “flying headbutt” against a national team colleague

Meanwhile, Blues captain Patrick Tuipolutu admitted he had hoped for “a farewell” but said it was no big deal that the decision did not go in his team's favor.

The Auckland-based team's head coach, Vern Cotter, had a similar view to his captain regarding the incident.

“I think he wasn’t sure”

“When we saw Ben’s idea, [O’Keeffe] I think he wasn’t sure… she [referees] also want a good product and make their decision based on their opinion.

“I think he thought about it and made a decision that he thought was right – we're sticking to that.”

There were numerous reactions to the incident on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), with the vast majority of respondents saying that Jacobson was lucky that he was not given marching orders.

“The ref was unmoved. He was literally happy to just play on. A flying headbutt… Nope, play on,” wrote Rugbynause, while my-kee added: “'Dynamic in the scrum'… that's an absolutely ridiculous decision by the refs. He's pretty much aiming for the 9 #BLUvCHI.”

READ MORE: Despite victory at Eden Park, the Blues are denied top spot by a late attempt from the Chiefs