Super Rugby 2019: Red card controversy plagues Highlanders' win over Chiefs

Super Rugby is back, and so is the red card controversy after Sio Tomkinson was sent off during the Highlanders' come-from-behind win over the Chiefs.

Tomkinson was shown a red card in the 67th minute for a collision with Chiefs captain Brodie Retallick, which was deemed to be a no-arms tackle by referee Glen Jackson.

He will face the judicial hearing at 8pm NZT on Sunday February 17. 

"You made no attempt whatsoever to wrap him, you have used your shoulder, and it's direct to the head," said Jackson.

Retallick was charging forward with his head down when he collided with Tomkinson's shoulder.

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger said he would have to go dust off the rule book after watching the reply of the incident.

"It seemed a little bit cloudy, the conversation at the start," he explained.

"We'll have to go back a look through the laws and make sure our interpretation of what's going on there is bang on and have a look at the video.

Referee Glen Jackson.
Referee Glen Jackson. Photo credit: Photosport

"We've got a pretty disappointed Sio Tomkinson in the changing shed because he felt like he'd let the team down.

"It was a big moment for a young guy like that, so we'll make sure we put the support around him and make sure we're really clear and what you can and can't do in those moments."

Despite that, the red card seemed to inspire the Highlanders as they fought back to win the match 30-27 thanks to a late Aaron Smith try.

"When we went down to 14 men it probably helped us if anything, it made us a bit more carefree," Smith said.

"We just said 'we've got to try things now'. We went for a short kickoff, Bender [Ben Smith] got it back, that was a big moment for us.

"Knowing from past experience, sometimes when a team goes down one man, you kind of get a bit like 'oh, we'll win from here'.

"Maybe that sort of sunk into the Chiefs. But full credit to our bench, full credit to [first five-eighth] Josh Ioane leading us around, and our forward pack was great in that last 20 minutes."

The Highlanders will have to wait for the judicial review to see how long Tomkinson will be out for.

The Southern side will host the Reds in their next match, while the Chiefs travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies.