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Steve Hansen fears matches in the World Cup knockout stages could swing on a red card for a high or dangerous challenge, but he believes it would be a price worth paying to lower the height of tackles.

The New Zealand head coach saw two of his props sent to the sin-bin for making contact with the head of an opponent who was low to the ground during the victory against Namibia on Sunday, while Australia received two yellow cards for high tackles in the opening half of their victory against Uruguay the previous day.

“I do not know whether breaching the guidelines is avoidable, but we have to find a way,” Hansen said. “Under the guidelines, the yellow cards we received against Namibia were fair, but it is incredibly difficult when players are falling at your feet.

“There are certain things we have to make sure we do: you cannot have an arm behind your shoulder, because it looks like you’re swinging an arm, and you have to be able to recognise how quickly a ball-carrier is falling, being able to pull out of a tackle or do it differently.”

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