WATCH: It is truly unbelievable that this reckless tackle on Robbie Henshaw was not punished properly 6 years ago

WATCH: It is truly unbelievable that this reckless tackle on Robbie Henshaw was not punished properly

This is not a campaign against New Zealand.

This isn't an accusation that any of their players deliberately went out of their way to hurt the Irish and it isn't even sour grapes that the highs of Chicago came crashing back down to earth on Lansdowne Road.


But there were tackles on Saturday, during the All Blacks' 12-point win over Ireland that looked high and looked reckless and they looked for all the world like they could've been refereed a hell of a lot stronger than what they were.

Robbie Henshaw was the victim of a spear tackle in Soldier Field only two weeks ago and, this weekend, against the same opposition, he was left strewn across the turf because of dangerous play.

Henshaw pic 2

He was hit square on the jaw by Sam Cane in the first half of the second test with the All Blacks and that was his lot for the day. 10 minutes we got out of the centre and a more cynical man would claim that he was targeted on both occasions.


If he was, then it was a job well bloody done because Steve Hansen and his men survived without so much as a yellow card from the incident. A penalty was given for the tackle - a recognition of its foul - but nothing else.

The new directive of the tackle in rugby union is supposed to stamp out the forceful shoulder charge and it is supposed to clamp down severely on any contact with the neck or head.

"The tackle must not be dangerous. Dangerous tackles are ones that make contact with their opponent around their neck or head, with a locked elbow and extended arm ("stiff arm"), without using their arms ("shoulder charge")..."

Well, let's just break down Sam Cane's tackle on Robbie Henshaw.


Contact with neck or head?

Locked elbow and extended arm?

Tackle without using their arms?

Henshaw wasn't clothes-lined but, either way - with an extended arm or with the shoulder - he was getting hit and he was getting hurt.


Henshaw tackle-iloveimg-resized

The Irish man spins away from one tackle and, before he even gets fully turned, he's sparked out cold with a shoulder straight to the jaw.


He wasn't even given a chance - to avoid or to recover.

And captain Rory Best was not impressed with some of the high tackles that he was asked about after the game.


"I'm a parent myself," he said.

"I don't want to see anyone go off on a stretcher."

Unfortunately, Henshaw had no other choice. Even worse, Cane didn't join him off the field immediately with either a yellow or a red card.

Aaron Kernan joins Colm Parkinson on The GAA Hour to explain the work he's doing for the Club Players Association. Derry captain Chrissy McKaigue talks Slaughtneil and a Dublin club advertising for hurlers gets a sore touch. Subscribe here on iTunes.