July 17, 2021
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Koroibete controversially sent-off

Fiji-born Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete was sent-off in the opening five minutes of their 33-30 win against France at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday for what appeared to be a forced turnover on French skipper Anthony Jelonch.

Referee Ben O’Keeffe and his assistants deliberated for minutes before determining that Koroibete had raced in from a distance and contacted Jelonch without any mitigating factors.

Former New Zealand great Andrew Mehrtens labelled the red card an “absolute travesty” in Channel Nine commentary while Tim Horan thought Jelonch lowering his head should have excused Koroibete.

Cross-code legend Sonny Bill Williams said Koroibete's send-off was a reminder that World Rugby needs to take on a "common sense" approach.

"Very disappointing that a referee's decision can potentially determine the outcome of such a big game," Williams told Nine during the half-time break.

Former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri, who was one of many left scratching their heads, took to Twitter and labelled the decision as "embarrassing."

Koroibete's departure came as a double blow for the hosts as Filipo Daugunu had left the field in the opening 90 seconds after picking up an arm injury.

The Wallabies had the last laugh, however, going on to win 33-30 and claim the series 2-1.

By Reginald Chandar

 


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