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When Bismarck broke Carter

FLASHBACK: We go back to 2013 to revisit a famous tackle on an All Black legend.


Bismarck du Plessis will always be known as one of the toughest players to wear the Springbok jersey and one game against the old foe is a perfect example of this.

The Boks travelled to Auckland for a Round Four Rugby Championship match in 2013 against New Zealand and a lot was riding on the result with both teams entering the match on the back of three straight wins.

Just 15 minutes into the game, with the All Blacks leading 7-3, Du Plessis, who was having a storming game so far, smashed star flyhalf Dan Carter.

Carter was left on the floor clutching his shoulder in agony and was eventually replaced by Beauden Barrett. Carter was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after the match.

It was a perfectly legal hit on Carter, but French referee Romain Poite decided it was a high tackle and he controversially gave Du Plessis a yellow card for it.


The Bok hooker eventually received another yellow card early in the second half for an elbow to the throat of Liam Messam, who went in for an upright tackle.

Du Plessis’ sending off spoiled the game as a contest, which was won 29-15 by NZ, and pundits and fans from both countries were in agreement that Poite got it wrong for the first yellow card.

The red card was later removed from Du Plessis’ record after a disciplinary hearing ruled that Poite’s decision “was wrong” as the tackle on Carter “was within the laws of the game”.

The incident was just one of many injustices the Springboks have suffered over the years at the hands of officials.


Despite all the controversy, the tackle is a favourite for many fans. It certainly is for South Africans.

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