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Los Pumas fullback in hot water following Boks defeat

By Ian Cameron
Juan Cruz Mallia of Argentina looks on during the Autumn International match between England and Argentina at Twickenham Stadium on November 6, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Argentinian rugby player Juan Cruz Mallia has found himself in hot water after being cited for alleged foul play during a recent Rugby Championship match. The Springboks secured a nail-biting 22-21 victory over Argentina in front of a roaring crowd of 44,357 fans at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.


In the opening moments of the match, Cruz Mallia made a forceful charge down of Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams, blocking a right-footed kick by the halfback, who was set to gather the ball deep in the 22. Unfortunately, Mallia’s follow-through hit Williams in the head with his hip. Despite the stoppage after a South African infringement, referee Andrew Brace ruled that Mallia was committed to the collision after touching the ball and deemed it not foul play.

As a result, Williams was knocked out and stretchered off, allowing Faf de Klerk to replace him on the field.

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SANZAAR confirmed that Cruz Mallia allegedly breached Law 9.11, prohibiting players from engaging in reckless or dangerous behaviour that could harm others on the field. The incident came under scrutiny upon reviewing the match footage, and the Citing Commissioner determined that it had met the criteria for a red card, signalling serious foul play.

As a consequence, the matter will be brought before the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee for consideration. The video-conference hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, 1st August, with representatives from Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand participating at 5 am (ARG), 10 am (SA), 6 pm (AUS), and 8 pm (NZ).

Should Juan Cruz Mallia choose to attend the hearing and plead guilty, he will have the opportunity to accept the penalty proposed by the committee to expedite the resolution of the matter.


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Derek 323 days ago

I agree with what you say. I don't agree with the rules. We might as well be playing Netball. I could accept yellow for reckless and unintentional and a citing, but not red. Red ruins the game. Do you know of any other Global game that keeps changing the rules with monotonous regularity like Rugby does? It reflects very poorly on those in charge.

David 324 days ago

Well done, Ian on your summary of the Prima Donnas being our on field referees! I have found a way to identify the worst offenders - it is those who hold their arms out just above the horizontal for five, six Eight seconds! I believe the signal is 'play on' say, in a turnover situation, and should be for two seconds max. That Auzzie clown, Gardner does it for 6+ sec and what he is using it for is "look-at-me!" He even does it before the ball is thrown to a lineout! He holds it so long you could use him for a clothes line!
Barnes was guilty of extended extensions in the first Bledisloe as well, although I thought his overall performance was good. But I will Never Forget 2007.
GO Black!

David 324 days ago

Just watched the video, it was reckless and direct to the head with force and no mitigating factors. Red card all day. Whether there was malice or not is irrelevant.

Derek 325 days ago

Wayne Barnes let TMO overrule him re tap penalty. It May be the letter of the law but it has never been interpreted that way. Consistency is what we ask for.

Derek 325 days ago

Things like this make my blood boil. There was no intent. It was an accident. If there was no injury there would be no citing.

Bob Marler 325 days ago

I am so tired of the referee show in rugby. It's getting worse.

That TMO bunker idea is giving the referees and their harem of assistants even more opportunities to take the stage and fuck things up. Why don't we get them in a hot tub on the halfway line next?

Some of these refs ego's are also over inflated. Too much attention. Ever since they were given microphones... Here are a few suggestions.

  1. When a referee (or TMO) has a howler - drop them. It's absolutely ludicrous that NONE of the officials thought there was a problem with head contact (intentional or not) that rendered a player unconscious. PSTD got carded for being pushed into a player in a ruck head first.
The laws are clear and unambiguous. They should get dropped. Less games, less money. Simple.
  1. It's time to start using technology.
If that bloody stupid game football can tell you if a player's pinky toe crosses a line - I am sure we can get some tech in to immediately call:

2.1 A forward pass
2.2 A knock-on
2.3 When an English prop puts his hand/knee down in a scrum
2.4 Which Kiwi collapsed the maul
2.5 A skew lineout
2.6 I could do this for a while.

Referees need to go down a few notches in importance in the game. Especially when (in tight, knockout stages) a stupid decision can ruin the game.

Pecos 325 days ago

SACK that idiot referee & his TMO. Or at the very least send them to rigorous retraining. Bloody ridiculous.

bob 325 days ago

He did succeed in charging down the halfback’s kick.
No malice.

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Flankly 12 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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