Video: Fijian teen facing life ban for breaking ref's nose
A teenage Fijian loose forward is facing a possible life ban from rugby and criminal charges for a savage attack on the ref punching him in the face and breaking his nose.
This all took place during a Skipper Cup U19 match between Naitasiri and Tailevu at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori Fiji.
The Naitasiri flanker Keresi Maya blindsided referee Peni Talemaivavalgi with a cheap shot to the face after disagreeing with a decision. The cowardly attack left the ref on the ground bleeding with a severely broken nose.
The Fiji Sun report that Maya was taken aside and questioned by the police who arrived swiftly at the scene and after questioning was taken into custody and transported to the Nausori Police Station.
A video of the incident can be seen below
Posted by Jowey Ga Nox on Friday, 28 August 2020
The match itself was called off directly after the punch was thrown and the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) awarded it to Tailevu. The Operations Manager for the FRU (Sale Sorovaki) has been reported to have said that Maya could potentially be banned for life from the game.
“There is no room for striking a referee in a rugby match,”
“He punched the referee, but we’ll see how it goes because safety is paramount. He will be in Police custody and therefore it is in the hands of the law.”
What makes little to no sense about the incident is that Maya, in a fit of petulance, could have utterly destroyed a budding career in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) with that one punch.
The youngster was only playing for Naitasiri in order to kill time while his 3 year contract that was being set up with the Cronulla Sharks was cleared. It had been delayed due the COVID-19 pandemic. He should have already left for Australia but was still in Fiji waiting for travel restriction to be lifted.
Former Crusaders legend and Fijian International Nemani Nadolo has weighed in on the matter as well writing:
“I hope that young ref who got king hit in a local game back home is ok. Match officials can frustrate us in the heat of the moment. It’s our duty as players to make sure their safety during the game is paramount. Violence doesn’t solve anything.”