Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

“What a joke” Pacific rugby players lash out after disciplinary hearing

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Avatar photo
Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

World Rugby is facing major scrutiny after a recent outcome from a disciplinary hearing. 

Various players of Pacific descent have voiced their concerns via social media regarding the overturning of England captain Owen Farells red carding over the weekend.

The 31 year old was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham which was later upgraded to a red card following England’s win over Wales last Saturday. However a disciplinary panel on Tuesday did not uphold the red card and have deemed the England skipper free to start for the Rugby World Cup.

And while Farrell escaped the sanction, Tongan centre George Moala was not so lucky and on the same day, was thrown a 10 week ban for a tip tackle on Ben LeSage during a warm up match against Canada. Moala is set to miss the entire Rugby World Cup due to the lengthy ban. 

The difference of outcomes between Farrell and Moala has caused an uproar amongst some players.

Former New Zealand sevens and current Tongan international Pita Ahki took to X (twitter) to show his frustrations.

“George Moala has a clear record and World Rugby has given him 10 weeks for a tip tackle?” Ah Ki wrote. 

“This guy (Farrell) has had so many red cards and get off clean? How? F*** this pisses me off”

Former All Black and now Manu Samoa Steven Luatua simply wrote on X, “No ban? What a joke”.

Farrell is no stranger to fronting judicial committees with a history of tackling issues. From 2016 till now, Farrell has been involved in four cases including the incident from last weekend.

The judicial committee which handled Farrell’s case stated that the dangerous nature of the tackle was due to the “sudden and significant change in direction from the ball carrier”.

“In the committee’s opinion, this mitigation was sufficient to bring the player’s act of foul play below the red card threshold” , the committee added.

Past similar cases such as Farrells have been awarded a suspension of six weeks, which would have made Farrell miss the opening stages of the World Cup tournament. 

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive daily updates direct to your inbox!

*we hate spam as much as you do