Fallout from Wallabies’ ‘disgraceful’ red card

Marika Koroibete will be free to line up for the Wallabies in next month’s Bledisloe Cup after escaping further sanction for his hit on Anthony Jelonch.

Koroibete was given his marching orders less than five minutes into Australia’s third Test with France on Saturday after cleaning up the French captain in a bonecrunching tackle.

The hit knocked the ball from Jelonch’s grasp and left him clutching his jaw in agony.

Replays revealed Koroibete had made contact with the No. 8’s head, leading referee Ben O’Keeffe to order the former NRL star from the field.

The red card sent the Brisbane crowd into a frenzy and forced the Wallabies to play out the game with only 14 men.

The decision proved controversial on social media as well.

The WORST decision ever! That can’t be right. Absolutely disgraceful. Arguably the best @wallabies player sent off the field. #AUSvFRA

Red card !!!! U kidding me
Maybe the French need a few pillows to play rugby @wallabies
Shoulder to shoulder pic.twitter.com/9QYuu0Kwca

Wow!!!! We’ve reverted to this!!!?? #AUSvFRA#RugbyUnion#[email protected] red card…

Koroibete was the only player to be red-carded in the three Test series. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP)Source:AFP

With the hopes of escaping suspension for his hit, which could have rubbed him out for as many as three weeks, Koroibete fronted the judiciary on Monday night.

He was cleared by the panel, which deemed the tackle “initially made shoulder to shoulder contact. Subsequently, through the impact, any contact to the chest and neck was incidental by Koroibete.”

“On that basis, the committee did not uphold the red card and the player is free to play again immediately,” a World Rugby statement read.

The Wallabies now turn their attention to next month’s Bledisloe Cup and, after that, the Rugby Championship.

For the first match of the Bledisloe Cup, the Wallabies will travel across the ditch, where they’ll face the All Blacks at Auckland’s Eden Park on August 7.

The Wallabies are set to host the second match of the series at Perth’s Optus Stadium on August 21 before returning to New Zealand for the final game on August 28.

From September, the Aussies will square off with Argentina and South Africa as part of the Rugby Championship, set to be contested at various venues across eastern Australia.

The Wallabies’ 2-1 series win marked the side’s first Test series win on home soil since they defeated the French on their last visit back in 2014.

However, all discussion following the decisive third game was around Koroibete’s red card.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie slammed Jelonch’s reaction to the hit, accusing the Frenchman of staging for a penalty.

“It was terribly milked wasn’t it?” Rennie said post-game.

“He obviously feels he’s got some head contact, then he’s grabbed his face, which is nowhere near the point of impact, and it’s delayed by five seconds.

“Every time there is anything like a headshot these guys (looked like they) had been shot by a sniper.

“The issue for us is, do we get to the stage where we’re telling our players to lie on the ground like the French did every time there’s any head contact?

“I don’t think it’s in the spirit of the game.”

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