Scott Barrett wanted to apologise to his teammates for the red card that contributed to the All Blacks' shock defeat in the weekend's Bledisloe Cup opener to the Wallabies - but was told no apology was needed.
That was one of the revelations from hooker Dane Coles in Auckland today, following the All Blacks' 47-26 defeat in Perth - after having to play more than 40 minutes with only 14 men on the pitch.
Barrett became only the fourth All Black in history to be given his marching orders when his shoulder connected with the head of Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper late in the first half.
According to Coles, the All Blacks have rallied around Barrett, who could face a ban of up to six weeks.
"I think Scooter [Barrett] wanted to get up and apologise but Steve [Hansen] said, 'mate, it's a team game, things happen', and that was it. We talked about a lot of stuff… stuff we can get better at," Coles said.
"We've got to get around him [Barrett], he's not a dirty player. Like Steve said, he's just got to learn from what he's done and move on."
The All Blacks accepted the red card, Coles said.
"Nothing against Scooter, [but] he's got a little bit of a habit of using that shoulder. But we know if we're going to hit their head we're going to get done. We've got to develop a better technique," he said.
The All Blacks today ramped up their preparation for the must-win rematch at Eden Park on Saturday, where another defeat would see them relinquishing the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 16 years.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission