Scott Barrett red carded as All Blacks get thrashed by Wallabies in Perth

Scott Barrett's red card during Bledisloe I in Perth was exactly what the All Blacks didn't need in a World Cup year.

Forget the fact, for a moment, that the 47-26 thrashing at Optus Stadium on Saturday night means the All Blacks must win in Auckland next week to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

Lock Barrett, who was sent off for ramming his shoulder into the neck of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper in the 40th minute, has ensured the All Blacks will be under the microscope ahead of, and during, the global tournament in Japan.

It's hard enough to defend the Webb Ellis Cup without distractions, and Barrett's moment of madness will do his countrymen no favours ahead of the event in the Far East.

This wasn't the work of a mindless thug; anyone who has watched Barrett during his career will tell you he isn't the sort of cove who goes to work with the intent to maim opponents.

But it's impossible to defend what he did; there's simply no excuse.

Barrett not only jammed his shoulder into Hooper as he carried the ball towards the try line, he did it in clear view of referee Jerome Garces.

And Garces did the right thing; he consulted TMO Marius Jonker before deciding Barrett should become just the fourth All Black to be sent off for foul play.

Moments before Barrett smacked into Hooper it appeared the officials had been too quick to censure All Blacks No 6 Ardie Savea for shoving the Aussie skipper in the head as he lay on the deck.

Savea was penalised, much to the chagrin of the All Blacks fans. Tough? Maybe. But it was another silly deed from the visitors, albeit on a minor scale compared to Barrett's transgression.

Forced to play with 14 men in the second spell, the All Blacks came out of the changing sheds with glassy eyes and, no doubt, a determination to try and wrench back the lead after trailing 16-12.

Instead it was the Aussies who took the initiative - and they did so in a spectacular manner.