Watch - Tongan international throws hands with Lions back row
It’s rare you see anything approaching actual punches being thrown in professional rugby these days but that’s exactly what Tongan No.8 Sione Kalamafoni provided URC fans with on Sunday night.
The Scarlets forward was shown a red card after throwing two punches at Wales and British and Irish Lions backrower Ross Moriarty as the first half of their derby match with the Dragons came to an end at Parc y Scarlets.
The punches certainly didn’t come out of the ether in Llannelli.
There was a major altercation in the game between both teams kicked off when Scarlets’ second row Sam Lousi pushed Ashton Hewitt’s face into the ground after tackling him into touch. Hewitt reacted and then Kalamafoni hurled himself into the melee.
Moriarty then took hold of Kalamafoni and after a tussle, punches were thrown by the Tongan. Kalamafoni was sent off, while a smiling Moriarty received a yellow card for his part in the incident.
Shades of Hill v Swain with Kalamafoni and Moriarty. pic.twitter.com/n9ohEP2zu0
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) January 1, 2023
The Scarlets would have the last laugh however as they survived Kalamafoni’s sending off to bag a 33-17 victory over the Dragons in their Welsh derby.
Welsh URC derbies between the Scarlets and the Dragons are known for their feisty nature. These matches are always highly anticipated and fiercely contested, with both teams bringing a physical and aggressive style of play to the pitch. The Scarlets and Dragons have a long-standing rivalry, and, ging off this incident, there was no love lost between the two sides last night.
Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny; Johnny McNicholl, Joe Roberts, Scott Williams, Steff Evans, Rhys Patchell, Dane Blacker; Kemsley Mathias, Ken Owens (CAPT), WillGriff John, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Aaron Shingler, Dan Davis, Sione Kalamafoni
Dragons RFC: Angus O’Brien, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (CAPT), Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, JJ Hanrahan, Lewis Jones, Aki Seiuli, Bradley Roberts, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, George Nott, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty
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