Rugby Union


Brumbies Folau Fainga'a has no excuse after dismissal against Bulls

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In a heated match between the Canberra Vikings (known as the Brumbies) and South African outfit the Bulls, a scuffle broke out quickly after Folau Fainga'a of the Brumbies flew into a tackle low down to protect his teammate in a ruck.

The overzealous attempt to help out his colleague caused a roar from the crowd, a whistling from the ref, and a coming together of opposing players.

Folau Fainga'a, full of hot air, then squared up to Bulls prop Matthys Basson.

The two locked eyes and exchanged words before Fainga'a headbutted him, causing more friction and incensing the Bulls players further.

It appears he did the act twice.

The idiotic act from the 23-year-old did nothing to alter the result in the Brumbies favour, who ran out winners 38-28, but has landed him in hot water with the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee.

Referee Marius van der Westhuizen used video refereeing, also known as TMO, to check his suspicions and after it was confirmed he sent Fainga'a off.

"It's a deliberate action. Not part of the game. I won't tolerate it," Van der Westhuizen can be heard saying to the Brumbies skipper, who was trying to remonstrate with him following the show of the red card.

After the game, the committee found the hooker guilty of breaking Law 9.12 which states it's an offence to strike another player with your head.

It was only last year that Fainga'a signed an EPS contract with the Brumbies which had all the hallmarks of promise. Now, this incident may leave the coaching staff with a discipline issue to address in the ranks after lock Rory Arnold was sent off in the previous match against the Johannesburg Lions.

The committee felt there was some provocation which caused the youngster to lose his temper and lash out, which is why the low-end penalty term of four weeks was imposed upon him.

After he pleaded guilty and further consideration was given to his judicial record, his inexperience and youth, the Committee decided to reduce the sentence to two weeks.

And, if that wasn't lenient enough, they further said that it was a "wholly disproportionate sanction" for the offence due to minimal contact, and so they reduce the suspension down to just one week.

Super Rugby Rd 15 - Bulls v Brumbies

They are sanctioned by the rules, but what's the point if you're going to bend them for violent offence just because someone is young? Surely they should be making an example as a future deterrent.

Anyhow, Fainga'a will miss the next week through suspension. Unless the SANZAAR Committee decide to overturn it again!

Australia Rugby
Rugby Union

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