The Hurricanes defeated the Melbourne Rebels this morning away from home, in a high-scoring 33-39 encounter.
The match discourse was dominated, however, by an incident in the first-half, which saw Ardie Savea shown a yellow card before the number eight made a throat slitting gesture towards Rebels scrum-half Ryan Louwrens.
Savea was initially sent to the bin by referee James Doleman for escalating a scuffle between Dane Coles and Josh Canham, after he threw Rebels fly-half Carter Gordon to the ground.
As one of the games premier players, and with kids looking on, it was clearly an unadvisable move from Savea, and the commentators were clearly not impressed, saying 'Oh Ardie. Ten minutes in the bin, you've just got to walk Ardie.'
Ardie Savea Makes Chilling Gesture To Rebels Player
Bit of push and shove and Ardie Savea is NOT happy 😡
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Savea recognised his wrongdoing, by apologising profusely in his post-match interview, although he was less pleased about the decision to give him the initial yellow card.
"I can understand the fans are furious around the gesture that I made. It's just the heat of the moment kind of thing, it's footy. I understand kids are watching us, but we're in the heat of the moment.
"Usually that's out of character for me, but I put my hand up first and I apologise for that.
"I'm just happy to get the win. The Rebels brought it tonight, I'm just happy to get the win.
“It's just normal banter in the game. For me, to get a yellow card for a push and shove, that's just where rugby's going. I've got to be better, we're trying to clean up the game. I understand... there's no excuse for me, I've got to be better.”
Whether further sanctions will be brought on Savea remains to be seen.