The All Blacks should have taken on Italy in what could have indirectly been a crucial Pool B match for the Springboks.
Italy would have had one last shot at spoiling the party in Pool B. They were due to play New Zealand at the City of Toyota Stadium.
It looked for a brief moment in the Azzurri’s resounding 49-3 loss to South Africa as if they might just pull off something spectacular. Unfortunately, that lasted mere moments early in the second half.
Italy started the half on the front foot after going into the break 17-3 down, but then lost Andrea Lovotti to a red card after a senseless tackle on Duane Vermeulen.
Lovotti made the tackle with the help of Nicola Quaglio and both have been banned for three games.
“It was just a stupid act,” O’Shea said post-game.
“You plan for a lot of things in rugby, but you can’t plan for that. Andrea is more destroyed than us, but we are all destroyed.”
Rugby World Cup fixtures: New Zealand vs Italy
The odds were stacked against the Azzurri, so in the end, they might not be too unhappy with how things turned out.
New Zealand have been in fine form throughout the World Cup to date, but showed signs of vulnerability earlier in the year, most notably in a 47-26 loss to Australia.
The match, however, was one of two Rugby World Cup games cancelled in the wake of a raging typhoon.