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Super Rugby rocked by 'racist' incident

REACTION: The Fijian Drua have issued a statement following ugly scenes during their game with the Melbourne in which a member of the crowd was ejected for allegedly racially abusing Frank Lomani.

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The match turned ugly following several ill-discipline by Fijian Drua players, with the side ultimately finishing the game with just 13 men.

Drua lost former Rebels halfback Lomani to a red card for a deliberate foul when he elbowed the back of the head of lock Josh Canham.

 

As Lomani made his way to the sideline supporters were heard abusing him and at least one was subsequently removed from the stadium for hurling racist abuse at the halfback.

The Melbourne Rebels have apologised to the Fijian Drua over the incident.

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A statement from the Drua reads: “The Fijian Drua are shocked at the alleged racial abuse suffered by one of our players during Friday night’s match against the Rebels in Melbourne. Clearly there is no place for racism of any kind anywhere. We all have a duty to protect players and staff from situations which go against the values of our game.

“We are thankful to the Melbourne Rebels for reaching out with an apology and for assuring us that an investigation to identify the person(s) at fault is underway. We note that the Tournament [SRP] is also independently assessing the matter. We’re also providing Frank Lomani with the support he needs at this time.

The alleged actions of one or two individuals will not affect the warm relationship we have with rugby fans in Melbourne, which is truly one of the world’s great sporting cities.

“We will return to Melbourne this very week as the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua women take on Rebels women in the crucial final round of Buildcorp Super Rugby Women. We look forward to meeting and engaging with as many fans as possible at AAMI Park on Saturday.”

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Both Lomani and Fijian Drua prop Jone Koroiduadua – who was also red-carded for ‘Physical abuse’ of an opposition player during an incident 54 minutes into the game – are facing a SANZAAR disciplinary committee.

Koroiduadua joined Lomani on the bench when he was red-carded after attempting to head-butt Rebels hooker Alex Mafi.

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