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.

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Foote attacked the committee’s determination that the headbutt from the Fijian Drua forward deserved a low entrance point, calling it “malicious.”

 

“Whether he lands it or not is irrelevant”

 

Koroiduadua became the second Drua player to be sent out during the Super Rugby Pacific match in Melbourne, after the dismissal of scrum-half Frank Lomani for elbowing lock Josh Canham in the head.

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The prop’s possible ban began at six weeks, as opposed to the mid-range (10 weeks) or top-end (16 weeks) specified by World Rugby, because it was decided to classify his acts as a low-entry discipline.

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Although Foote thought Lomani’s six-week sentence was justified, Koroiduadua’s suspension infuriated him, especially in light of Reece Hodge’s two-week ban in 2021 following two yellow card incidents.

Foote told reporters, “There is intent there; it doesn’t matter if he lands it or not.”

Would it be worse if Mafi struck him with his head forward at that point?

That’s malevolent. According to what I understand, we’ve been taught that top, top, top suspension occurs if you make any contact with the head. He is also given two weeks.

In addition, Foote mentioned additional game-related occurrences and mentioned that the Drua prop was on a “mission.”

 

“Koroiduadua had a mission,” he said. Prior to that, there was an incident involving Ryan Louwrens, and there was a late hit on Carter Gordon. “But come on, to headbutt on top of that obviously, too,” he said.

 

How his players responded

 

The coach recalled Hodge’s two-week suspension from the Wallabies in 2021 following two instances involving yellow cards.

 

“After a team foul and a yellow card, how can Hodgey receive a red card, which carries a two-week suspension, for that [headbutt]? It’s nonsensical,” Foote said.

Even though he was furious about the events throughout the game, he was happy with his teammates’ lack of response.

He told the players, “I told them how proud I was of them because there were a few incidents in that game.”

 

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