So, as we’ve learned in previous seasons, you can’t be selected by an English team in order to serve a suspension, but it appears now that you can be stuck with carry over points from an offence that occurred in England, in another season! Next they’ll be telling us that Mat Rogers can add the points he scored during his time in the (curiously named) “Super” rugby series to his existing league tally.
This has surely got to change.
I can’t even recall the Lyon incident off the top of my head (and I have seen the game twice on replay).
Whatever happens, let’s hope the club fights it better than the Hopoate charge in 2005. I mean, you always knew he was going down for a looong time the moment we saw him carrying the VCR into the hearing (apparently its purpose was to show footage of the incident from a different angle, perhaps from the grassy knoll at the back of the Brooky Hill, a la JFK). You would have thought the judiciary would have had their own VCR though, or that some flunky (e.g. Peter Peters) could have carried it for him.
What does it mean to say that Matai is an “overly agressive” player? Especially when you described him simply as “agressive” four paragraphs earlier. Did he get more agressive in that space of time? Ben Smith was falling in that tackle (not to mention that he got his own back later with a cheap shot that went unreported). Matai is an in-your-face player. To the unitiated, that means he likes to get up into the line quickly and force the attacking player into a quick decision. If someone falls into a tackle on a dewy field (a la Ben Smith on Friday) that is just a natural consequence.
There has been a disturbing tendency in the last decade to acuse Maori or Pacific Islander players of being “overly agressive” or “dirty” just because they have speed and good defensive awareness (and I’m thinking of John Hopoate, Ruben Wiki and Matai right here). Give ’em a break. If Ben Smith hadn’t fallen it was a solid tackle at a crucial point of the game. Instead, you’re prepared to write off the character and integrity of a international player.
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