Rugby World Cup: Ian Foster vents frustrations over red card to Ethan de Groot as judiciary, suspension awaits

As they did after Twickenham last month, the All Blacks now face a nervous wait over one of their key men after Ethan de Groot was shown a red card in the 71-3 victory over Namibia in Toulouse.

Coming on as a substitute, de Groot was shown a yellow card in the final 10 minutes to see the All Blacks finish with 14 men before a TMO review upgraded it to red after a high shot on Adriaan Booysen.

After losing Scott Barrett to a red card in the record defeat to South Africa at Twickenham, de Groot's sending-off is now part of a worrying trend for the All Blacks.

The 25-year-old's dismissal was the second time in three games a player has been dismissed, while winger Will Jordan was shown a yellow card in defeat to France a week ago.

Ethan de Groot.
Ethan de Groot. Photo credit: Getty Images

More frustrating for the All Blacks was that de Groot's red card came after a wave of support for the prop, who struggled in losses to South Africa and France.

Now, de Groot will almost certainly have to deal with a World Rugby judicial hearing, with a potentially-tournament-ending ban.

Already this tournament, England's Tom Curry was shown a yellow that was upgraded to red and earned a two-game suspension.

Should de Groot suffer the same fate, he would miss the All Blacks' pool games against Italy and Uruguay, before a prospective quarter final.

Barrett was able to escape further action from the judiciary, given his offence was two yellow cards warranting a red, rather than be sent off directly, but de Groot might not be as fortunate.

Foster pointed out the yellow card to France's Romain Taofifenua in Friday's victory over Uruguay as a similar tackle, although he escaped a red card after his shoulder connected with the head of Santiago Arata.

Speaking post-match, though, Foster - given the All Blacks' recent experience with the judiciary - said his side are prepared to let things unfold.

"It's always frustrating," said Foster. "My experience tells me you've got to go away and let it breathe for a while.

Ethan de Groot leaves the field.
Ethan de Groot leaves the field. Photo credit: Photosport

"We'll go through the process. That happened after Twickenham and things were pretty clear after 24 hours.

"There was a lot of shoulder on shoulder in that contact. It certainly looked like the target area.

"We'll wait and see. It's an area where we're searching for consistency at the moment.

"So we'll just have to see what happens. But [it was] frustrating."

Helping the All Blacks' cause will be a week off between now and their next game, against Italy on September 30 in Lyon.

Whether or not de Groot would have played that game anyway is moot, given the All Blacks' want to rotate to keep key players fresh.

Now, though, the judiciary will decide de Groot's fate.

"We'll just have to wait and see," Foster continued. "You have to go through a process.

"The main thing I've learned is you've just got to take your time and go through the process. There's a lot of emotion around when you get a red card.

"We've seen very fine margins of consistency in what's a red card and what's not a red card.

"There'll be much debate about us. It looked to us like shoulder on shoulder - that's the main intention.

"We'll go and have a look at it but it does take time, it takes energy. That's the nature of the game."