Saturday, June 15, 2024

Rebels suffer blow after testy Brumbies battle – The Roar

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Taniela Tupou’s frustrating season could take another turn for the worse after he was cited for his brutal hit on Wallabies teammate Darcy Swain in their loss to the Brumbies.

Tupou came flying into the ruck in the 65th minute with the Brumbies defending their try line.

Referee Angus Gardner was preoccupied with the Brumbies’ defence at the time and blew up for a penalty against the Canberra team as Tupou hit Swain.

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Tupou stood over Swain after the hit and was talking to his floored national teammate.

The Stan commentators called out the incident at the time – Justin Harrison called it “dangerous” – but the TMO didn’t intervene.

After the game Stan went back to the vision and Tim Horan said the hit was one of two cleanouts from Tupou, including another on another Wallabies teammate Tom Hooper. Horan suggested there was “nothing wrong with it” but it showed his frustration.

“It’s the frustration, and this is nothing against Taniela Tupou. Both are on Wallaby teammates, and you don’t know that at the time when you’re cleaning out. But it’s the frustration on the field but also off the field for the Rebels that’s coming through.

“And Taniela Tupou, he’s had a bit of a disjointed season because of some injuries to himself as well. That just typifies the Rebels season at the moment, those two incidents there.”

Wallaroos player Sera Naiqama added: “Taniela comes off the bench so you expect him to just be clean, to be clinical, to execute his role. And those brain snaps, you can’t help but interpret it as frustration.

“What’s most important for him is they have another opportunity next week against Sthe Drua. They cannot afford to do that. 

“So, Taniela, do your thing when you come on, but don’t make any nasty mistakes because your Rebels side need you.”

Taniela Tupou. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

On Monday SANZAAR said in a statement:

“Taniela Tupou of the Rebels has been cited for alleged foul play during a Super Rugby Pacific match at the weekend.

“Tupou is alleged to have contravened Law 9.20: Dangerous play in a ruck or maul, during the match between the Brumbies and Rebels at GIO Stadium in Canberra on 24 May 2024.

“Upon further review of the match footage, the Citing Commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the Red Card threshold for foul play.”

The Rebels travel to Fiji this week with the ability to finish as high as sixth and as low as eighth ahead of the finals.

There was a lot of feeling in the match, won easily by the Brumbies despite their own discipline issues.

Meanwhile Blues flanker Adrian Choat was also cited for alleged foul play having escaped a card against the Crusaders. In a busy week for the judiciary they will also consider the red card to Raymond Tuputupu.

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