Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Video - Fijian teen faces possible life ban for brutal punch that broke referee's nose

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

A teenage Fijian backrow is facing into a possible life ban and criminal charges for brutally punching a referee – breaking his nose.

ADVERTISEMENT

The incident occurred during a Skipper Cup U19 match between Naitasiri and Tailevu at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori Fiji.

Naitasiri Under-19 rugby flanker Keresi Maya blindsided referee Peni Talemaivavalagi after disagreeing with a decision. The cheap shot dropped the referee to ground, breaking his nose.

The Fiji Sun report that Maya was questioned by police at the scene and was later taken to Nausori Police Station. A video of the incident has appeared online.

The match was called off and the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) awarded the match to Tailevu. The operations manager for the FRU – Sale Sorovaki – has said Maya could potentially be banned for life.

“There is no room for striking a referee in a rugby match,” he said.

“He punched the referee, but we’ll see how it goes because safety is paramount. He will be in Police custody and therefore it is in the hands of the law.”

ADVERTISEMENT

What makes the incident more confounding is that teen in question could have potentially ruined a career in the NRL.

According to Fiji journalist Filipe Naikaso, he was set to take up a contract with the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL, a move delayed by the pandemic. “The U19 Naitasiri rugby player that punched the ref yesterday was offered a 3 year contract with NRL club Cronulla Sharks. He couldn’t leave because of COVID-19 so he was playing for Naitasiri while awaiting word from Australia.”

Former Fijian international Nemani Nadolo weighed in on the incident on social media, writing: “I hope that young ref who got king hit in a local game back home is ok. Match officials can frustrate us in the heat of the moment. It’s our duty as players to make sure their safety during the game is paramount. Violence doesn’t solve anything.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

N
Nickers 2 hours ago
'One of the poorest All Blacks performances I've seen in a long time'

Extreme hyperbole from Biggar. NZ have played far, far worse than that. The 20/21 team was by far the worst of the professional era. Losses to Argentina, shambolic game against Japan and hapless NH tour of 2021. But even that dreadful team were able to put 50 points on Wales and beat them by 38. Much easier to “tear them to pieces” from the commentary box apparently. Ignored by virtually everyone is how good the ABs defence was. That is why England didn’t win, they simply could not score enough points against that defence. The ABs attack was very average, but their defence was world class and that’s what won them the game. Any Wales team that Biggar has ever played for would have found themselves in the same situation and would definitely not have scored tries from those cross kicks. That ABs team beats Biggar’s best Wales team 31 - 13. England’s attack was as good as it was allowed to be by a superior defence. Hats off to Hansen, he has picked up where MacLeod finally got the ABs to last year and not missed a step. England’s attack will be a big worry for Borthwick. They have not established a reliable, repeatable way to break teams down and score points. They were held to some very low scores by average teams in the 6N, and again here didn’t cross 20 points on either occasion. If I was an England fan I would be crying out for a new attack coach. Borthwick would do well to cast his net now, a poor home winter with a faltering attack will start the calls for his job.

18 Go to comments
T
Thomas 2 hours ago
'Champions get up when they can't': Matt Williams weighs in on Ireland's win over Boks

While both teams have their particular positives, I think neither team should rest on their laurels. South Africa managed to tie a series against an uncomfortable opponent, that has had their numbers for a couple of years, while trial-running a completely new attack system, that still doesn’t work properly. But one aspect of “it doesn’t work yet” is a transition from attack to defense in broken play, as the Boks leaked three tries in two matches this way, and lost the second match as a result. Ireland avoided a series loss in a hostile environment, and in spite of many key player injuries, while managing to significantly improve and tighten their defense in game 2 (which demonstrates the breadth of their squad as well as their ability to adjust and recalibrate). At the same time, their own attack hadn’t amounted to much, either (save from exploiting the gaps in the Boks’ new system, gaps that won’t be there anymore in a few months’ time), and they haven’t found an answer to the Boks scrum, which almost costed them the 2nd match, if it hadn’t been for pretty much unrepeatable Frawley heroics. In the end, there isn’t much that separates those two sides … which is exactly what we knew before the series already. Back to the drawing board for both teams, the work only just begins for two teams with the highest ambition. Start of a cycle alright.

16 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Time to say goodbye to this Springboks team Time to say goodbye to this Springboks team
Search