Tongan prop Sona Taumalolo certainly stretched the boundaries of the law against Fiji last weekend. The former Chiefs prop, who now has grown out his hair and looks almost unrecognisable, attempted to fend a Fijian player, but appeared to do so with his fist.
The commentry team were shocked, as were onlookers in Suva, just minutes after Fiji had scored the sensational try that we saw here on RD yesterday. Taumalolo appeared frustrated, swinging out at the opposition from an almost standing start.
While hand-offs are legal and in fact a huge part of the game, this could easily have been called up for foul play, especially if he had connected. Law 10.4 (Dangerous Play and Misconduct) (a) states: Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
Some might say that if you slow it down, it was actually an open hand, in which case Law 10.4 (m) could also be applicable: Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.
As it was, nobody got hurt and referee Chris Pollock missed it, or decided to let it go, so we’ll categorise it as funny rather than dirty. Taumalolo was lucky though, so hopefully doesn’t try that one again. View more of him in action in the Related Posts.