Waratahs defeat Fijian Drua, yellow card Jone Koroiduadua, Andrew Mehrtens
Rugby legends Andrew Mehrtens and Tim Horan were left scratching their heads following a controversial yellow card to Fijian Drua prop Jone Koroiduadua.
The Drua endured a brutal welcoming to life as a Super Rugby team, going down 40-10 to the Waratahs at CommBank Stadium.
Super Rugby Pacific kicks off this weekend with Waratahs vs Drua, Chiefs vs Highlanders, Crusaders vs Hurricanes, Reds vs Rebels and Brumbies vs Force – all streaming ad-free, live and on demand only on Stan Sport. Sign up for your free seven day trial!
For the home side, it was the perfect start to the season after coming into tonight’s season-opener without a win in 2021.
But during the second half, with Fijian Drua trailing 26-3, life was made even more difficult after Koroiduadua was issued a yellow card for lifting David Porecki above the horizontal in what looked to be a bizarre brain fade.
While the tackle was more than worthy of a yellow card, the moment occurred when play was allowed to continue despite Fijian Drua halfback Simione Kuruvoli knocking the ball on in an attempt to take control of a loose ball just metres out from the try-line.
Mehrtens, a former All Black of 70 tests, said the entire situation could’ve been avoided if referee Nic Berry blew the whistle at the time of the knock-on.
“In the context of the action, that’s a fair call,” Mehrtens said in commentary for Stan Sport.
“My sympathy here for Jone Koroiduadua… maybe the communication devices between and his Nic Berry wasn’t working.
“There certainly should’ve been a whistle well before then.”
Will Harris muscles his way over and finds the line
Former Wallaby Tim Horan also echoed similar thoughts, adding “It should’ve been called up and there wouldn’t have been a yellow card”.
Stan Sport commentator Sean Maloney was left confused.
READ MORE: Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director
READ MORE: Supercars legend confirms Bathurst return
“Why was the game even in progress on the back of the knock-on?” Maloney added.
The Waratahs tonight ran in five tries to one.
The bonus-point win snapped a 13-match losing streak stretching some 538 days since they beat the Melbourne Rebels in their final game of the 2020 Super Rugby Australia season.
The Waratahs led 21-3 at halftime
Waratahs captain Jake Gordon was relieved to see a better result to kick-start the season.
“It’s been a long since we put on a performance like that,” Gordon after the match. “We’re really proud.
Gordon said it was rewarding to see his side bounce back from a disappointing 2021.
“We learnt quite a lot [about ourselves in 2021],” he added.
“We also learnt how resilient the group was and how many good blokes we have in our team.
“To go through a year like that and not have guys backstabbing each other, it shows the resilience in the group.”
– with AP
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!