Australia to fight Marika Koroibete red card

Colin Newboult

Marika Koroibete (centre) of the Wallabies is red carded during the Rugby Union 3rd Test Match between Australia and France at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Saturday, July 17, 2021. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY ** STRICTLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE, NO BOOKS **

Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson believes that Australia have a “really good case” as they look to contest the red card handed down to star wing Marika Koroibete.

The Wallabies flyer was sent off in the early stages of their third Test with France after he was deemed to have made contact with the head of Anthony Jelonch.

Despite that blow, Dave Rennie’s men responded impressively and eventually sealed a 2-1 series win after overcoming Les Bleus 33-30 in Brisbane.

It was good preparation for Australia ahead of their Rugby Championship campaign, but Johnson hopes that Koroibete will avoid further sanction and be available for the tournament,

“We feel we have a really good case to take the judiciary to be heard. Because we feel there was mitigation involved in this,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“And we don’t believe there was direct contact to the head. We want to have a good look at this and ensure he gets the right hearing.”

Jelonch’s delayed reaction

Jelonch exacerbated the matter by dramatically clutching his face several seconds after the contact had been made.

The France captain went off for a HIA before eventually returning, but that football-like action was not appreciated by the crowd or Johnson.

“The one thing we’re also concerned about as a sport – and is a really big concern of mine – is the amount of players that are staying down. That’s not what our sport should be about,” Australia’s director of rugby added.

“If it’s genuine, no issue. But we shouldn’t be playing for penalties or cards. That’s for another code. That’s not us.”