Rugby-Fijian Drua scrumhalf Lomani banned for six matches for elbow

  • Rugby
  • Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Quarter Final - England v Fiji - Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France - October 15, 2023 Fiji's Frank Lomani prepares to take a penalty kick REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Fijian Drua scrumhalf Frank Lomani has been banned for six Super Rugby Pacific matches for elbowing an opponent in the head last weekend while his prop team mate Jone Koroiduadua will miss two matches for a head butt in the same match.

Both players were shown red cards as the Drua blew a 12-point lead to go down 41-20 to the Melbourne Rebels last Friday but the judiciary took a much dimmer view of Lomani's offence.

Lomani drove his elbow into the back of Josh Canham's head behind a ruck in the 56th minute of the clash, leaving the Rebels lock bleeding from a wound.

"The victim was in an incredibly vulnerable position with limited ability, if any, to defend himself," read the judgement.

"In providing the player the sanction, the foul play review committee emphasised that this sort of incident is not tolerated in any form of the game."

Koroiduadua was treated more leniently for his head butt on Alex Mafi in the 75th minute because the Drua loosehead made limited contact and the Rebels prop was uninjured in the incident.

The suspension of two Fiji internationals will be a major blow to the Drua as they look to back up last year's run to the playoffs. The team have a bye this week before hosting the Wellington Hurricanes in Suva on April 19.

Tournament organisers are also investigating alleged racial abuse of Lomani from the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium crowd as he made his way from the pitch after the red card incident.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Lincoln Feast)

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