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Wallabies will contest controversial red card after French player 'milked it'

BY Grant Constable  ·  Sunday Jul 18, 2021

Marika Koroibete will front a World Rugby judicial committee on Monday night to fight the dangerous tackle charge that saw the Wallabies winger shown a controversial red card early in Australia’s Test win over France.

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Koroibete was sent off after just five minutes of the Suncorp Stadium Test on Saturday night for an alleged high tackle on France captain Anthony Jelonch.

He will attend a hearing via video conference before an independent panel chaired by Helen Morgan (New Zealand) and supported by ex-players and now legal eagles Mike Mika and Chris Smith.

The Wallabies are set to fight the charge, desperate not to lose Koroibete, who was their best player in the opening two Tests, for any of the upcoming Bledisloe Cup series or Rugby Championship.

The Australians will argue that while contact was higher than normal, Jelonch dropped his height, while they believe contact wasn’t direct with the head.

Wallabies fans raging after questionable early red card for Marika Koroibete

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie felt the French skipper over-reacted, which wasn’t “in the spirit of the game”.

“It was terribly milked,” Rennie said.

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“He feels he got some head contact and he has grabbed his face which is nowhere near the point of impact.

“What we’ll try and defend is the first point of contact – Jelonch’s head comes forward a little bit.

“When you’ve been hit in the head, your head automatically goes backwards. Clearly, the first point of contact is not the head, it’s the body.”

Despite playing 75 minutes with 14 men the Wallabies were able to claw their way to a memorable 33-30 victory to win the three-game series.

Sonny Bill Williams, who knows a thing or two about red cards, disagreed with the decision.

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