It is the wave of the future, apparently, and Israel Folau appears to be on the vanguard of the movement, as he received a one-match ban from World Rugby over a mid-air collision with Ireland Captain Peter O’Mahony.
No doubt about O’Mahony’s country of origin and questions of orientation did not appear to arise over collisions that occurred in two aerial contests in the series deciding third Test.
Folau plans to appeal.
O’Mahony was being lifted by a teammate, placing him in a precarious position and according to New Zealand’s Michael O’Leary (where is he from?), Folau had “placed his left hand on O’Mahony’s chest” pulling the flanker “over and he toppled to the ground,” the AAP reported.
Folau will miss the Super Rugby game between his Waratah side and Melbourne.
There are key implications in play. The Tahs could surrender the top spot in the Australian Conference if they lose to the Rebels at AAMI Park.
The judiciary triumvirate that handed down the suspension debated for a long time before coming to the conclusion that Folau was guilty as charged, but it should be noted that the tribunal was made up of objective members, save perhaps Eroni Clarke of New Zealand.
Rugby Australia has remained mum, officially at least, as has Folau, other than to say they intend to appeal in time for an overturning that would clear Folau to play.
Michael Cheika defended the actions of Folua after the Saturday night match.
“The key word today is clear and obvious,” Cheika said.
Well, that is two words, but you get the gist.
“I don’t know what anything is clear and obvious in a game of footy,” Cheika went on, although what relevance stating the obvious carries is hard to ascertain.
Others chimed in to say that Folau was the one at risk, but that also seems an unnecessarily redundant thing to say, as rugby is inherently dangerous.
Waratahs Coach Daryl Gibson, who obviously wants his player back, prophesied doom for the game in terms of the aerial contest. “I believe if he does get some time, there’s some real implications around the law-making process going forward,” he said. “It really makes us look at the kick contest area and exactly how we can provide a law that provides for what is happening in terms of the collisions and guys landing on their heads.”