Rebels coach slam Fijian Drua bans

April 12, 2024 6:28 am

[Source: Planet Rugby]

Melbourne Rebels coach Kevin Foote has slammed the Super Rugby Pacific Foul Play Review Committee’s (FPRC) decision to hand prop Jone Koroiduadua a two-week ban.

Foote has described the headbutt from the Fijian Drua forward as ‘malicious’ and criticised the committee’s assessment that it warranted a low entry point.

Koroiduadua was the second Drua player to be sent off during the Super Rugby Pacific clash in Melbourne after scrum-half Frank Lomani was given his marching orders for an elbow to the head of lock Josh Canham.

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The decision to deem the prop’s actions as a low-entry sanction meant that his potential ban started at six weeks instead of mid-range (10 weeks) or top-end (16 weeks) under World Rugby’s guidelines.

While Foote believed that Lomani’s six-week ban was appropriate, he was left fuming by Koroiduadua’s suspension, particularly after Reece Hodge’s two-week ban in 2021 after two yellow card incidents.

“There is intent there, whether he lands it or not is irrelevant,” Foote told reporters.

“If Mafi has his head forward at that stage and he hits him, does that make it worse?

“That is malicious. My understanding is if you make any contact with the head, we have been told that is top, top, top suspension. And he gets two weeks.”

Foote added that the Drua prop was on a “mission” and highlighted other game-related incidents.

“He [Koroiduadua] was on a mission. There was a late hit on Carter [Gordon] and there was something with Ryan [Louwrens] just before that. But then to obviously headbutt on top of that, I mean come on,” he added.