Editorial

Recurring Red Card Offences A Worry Trend In Skipper Cup

To be red carded in the game of rugby always happens after a serious offence is being committed.
13 May 2019 15:28
Recurring Red Card Offences A Worry Trend In Skipper Cup

It’s not what the rugby coaches, players or fans wanted.

But alarm bells should be ringing when it is becoming a recurring trend week in, week out, in the normal rugby weekend.

To be red carded in the game of rugby always happens after a serious offence is being committed.

The red carding of players on a normal basis in the 2019 Skipper Cup Premiership competition is now a worrying concern. In the third round of the Skipper Cup Premiership over the weekend, four players were sent off for punching – a serious concern.

This is a serious offence and players must learn to play by the rules and not resort to the law of the jungle when the pressure mounts.

The first two red cards were issued to Nadroga’s captain Aca Simolo and Northland’s Kilione Sisiwa in their game at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, last Friday night for punching.

In another punching incident, Suva’s veteran No.2 Sireli Ledua and Namosi prop Aseri Robarobalevu were sent off at Thomson Park, Navua, on Saturday.

The incident was uncalled for because it happened after a verbal confrontation between the duo.

Namosi had just scored a try when Ledua retaliated after being verbally provoked by Robarobalevu.

The shortfall almost proved costly for both teams, but Suva absorbed the pressure and finally unleashed its power in the last 10 minutes to stay unbeaten with a 12-11 win.

Namosi coaches Akuila Nasi and Sailosi Naiteqe must be lamenting the match that they could have won after they were leading 11-0 in the third quarter.

But first they need to address the indiscipline and nip it in the bud.

Two weeks ago, Namosi halfback Serupepeli Vularika was red carded for a dangerous tackle, which allowed Tailevu back into the game.

Likewise, Suva coach Jope Tuikabe must be disappointed that veterans such as Ledua buckled under verbal pressure after being provoked.

Suva and Naitasiri remained the unbeaten teams in the Skipper Cup Premiership.

The fourth round this weekend will be crucial to all, especially to Northland, Tailevu and winless Rewa.

It’s crucial for the three teams to buck the trend and upset the giants of the competition to survive.

All have achieved the impossible in the past and this needs to be repeated if they are to survive in the long run.

Northland face defending champs Suva, Tailevu need to score their second win against Nadi at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, while Rewa should go for their first win against Namosi at Burebasaga.

The feature match of round four will be between Nadroga and Naitasiri at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, this Saturday.

Another good round of matches to look forward to and let us hope players play by the rules of the game and remain magnanimous in defeat and gracious in victory.

After all, this is one of the golden rules of sport.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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