The World Cup has been marred by a number of acts of foul play that have as of yet gone unpunished.
In Friday night’s opening match between hosts Japan and underdogs Russia, Brave Blossoms lock James Moore looked to have made contact with Russian halfback Vasily Dorofeev’s head with his upper arm. The incident went unnoticed by the referees.
In Saturday’s first game, between Fiji and Australia, Peceli Yato had to leave the field with a concussion after Wallabies wing Reece Hodge used his shoulder to help bring the big Fijian flanker to ground. Again, no action was taken on the field – however, the incident was supposedly checked by the TMO.
Under the current regime, acts of foul play must be cited within 36 hours of the end of a game – which means that Moore has escaped any punishment for his dangerous tackle against Russia.
The latter two cases, however, are now being dealt with by World Rugby.
Rugby’s governing body today put out two separate statements regarding the incidents.
Moroni has been issued with a Citing Commissioner Warning.
“The CCW will remain on the player’s record to be dealt with in the event that the player accumulates three yellow cards and/or Citing Commissioner Warnings during the tournament,” World Rugby’s statement read.
Unlike Moroni, Hodge will face a disciplinary hearing.
“Australia winger Reece Hodge has been cited by John Montgomery (Scotland) for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) in the 25th minute of Australia’s Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool D match against Fiji on 21 September,” said the statement.
What if it was @peceli_yato who had made the despairing, no-arms, torpedo tackle on Wallaby winger Reece Hodge instead, just 5 metres out from the Fijian tryline with a certain try ahead? https://t.co/m8VRME3CuZ
— Daniel Leo (@danleo82) September 21, 2019
The time and date is yet to be set for Hodge’s hearing, however it will likely take place well in advance of Australia’s next match, against Wales on September 29th.
Even if Hodge does receive a ban, it will be of no consolation to Fiji, who led their match with Australia 21-12 shortly after halftime. The Wallabies ultimately won the game 39-21.
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