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Sunday Sep 26, 2021

The time a 112kg ball carrier went down screaming 'I've been punched'... by an 80kg scrum half

Back in 2018 Melbourne Rebels number eight Amanaki Mafi was accused of simulation having been punched in the stomach by a scrum-half.

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Midway through the second half of a tightly contested game against the Brumbies it was the Rebels who nearly scored from a driving maul before it was hauled down just a metre short.

Mafi got back to his feet and impeded with half back Matt Lucas, who was defending his side’s try line, and he retaliated with a punch to the torso of the Rebels number eight.

The 6ft 2″, 112kg Japan international went down holding his ribs shouting “I’ve been punched” in what can only be described as gamesmanship to try and draw the referee’s attention to the incident.

“He’s hoping that they check the big screen and wonder how he got hurt. I don’t like that,” said Greg Martin over commentary.

Then after receiving treatment from the physios Mafi got back to his feet and pushed Lucas on the shoulder which sparked a small tussle at AAMI Park.

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In the end no penalty was awarded to either side while Lucas was given an official warning after the match, however it was Mafi who came off second best for his unsporting behaviour.

Mafi, now 31, has earned 27 caps for Japan since making his debut in 2014 and he was a key player for the Cherry Blossoms during their home World Cup in 2019.

He now plays club rugby in MLR for the Canon Eagles and amassed 30 appearances for the Rebels in total.

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