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Friday Apr 5, 2024

Flying elbow fiasco causes dramatic loss for Fiji Drua

Fiji Drua have been defeated by their hosts Melbourne Rebels this afternoon in a battle that spilt out beyond the norms of rugby. Reminiscent of the pre-professional era of rugby union, the Drua saw red on more than two occasions with acts that had more place in MMA than they do in modern-day rugby.

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Rugby players can often argue that a little ‘argy-bargy’ can be excused in a match, what with the intense nature of the sport and the pressures being thrust upon them. The scuffles that players are often separated from tend to involve nothing more than a bit of shoving and the odd choice word or two.

On this occasion, however, the infringements took them well beyond the realms of being able to argue their case. First up, an elbow from scrum-half Frank Lomani to the back of the head of Rebels lock Josh Canham left fans in uproar. Initially missed, referee Damon Murphy shortly called the play back to review the footage. Once the incident had become clear, the official had no choice but to send the Fijian international off.

“Frank Lomani has had a brain explosion,” Wallabies legend Tim Horan exclaimed on the Stan Sport coverage.

“He’s now let his team down. They were just trying to claw back into the game and he gets a red card.”

The drama didn’t stop there. Shortly before the end of the match it was the turn of prop Jone Koroiduadua to throw a headbutt the way of Alex Mafi. Clearly feeling the frustration of the match, the Drua ended with just 13 men on the field.

“That’s total frustration by the Fiji Drua side” the commentator continued.

The match finished 41-20 to the Rebels in what will have caused a large dent in the ambitions of the Drua this season. Head coach Mick Bryne apologised for the ill-discipline after the match, saying:

“There was definitely frustration there but that’s no excuse. I apologise to the people back home for the two red cards, which were costly,

“The players need to find it in themselves to sort their discipline out if we want to get our season back on track.”

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