On the same day that Owen Farrell escaped sanction for a dangerous tackle, Tonga centre George Moala was hit with a massive 10-week ban for a tip-tackle in the warm-up match against Canada.
Moala was cited after being red-carded during Tonga’s World Cup warm-up home victory over Canada.
The former All Black, one of a handful of New Zealand and Australian converts in Tonga’s team, was given his marching orders for dumping Canada’s Ben LeSage.
🇹🇴La expulsión a George Moala en Tonga vs Canadá. pic.twitter.com/PeUE5Tuwz2
— Periodismo Rugby (@Perrugby) August 10, 2023
It emerged on Tuesday afternoon that Moala was handed a 10-week suspension, ruling him out of the entire World Cup.
The decision left the Pacific Island players fuming, especially in the context that England captain Farrell escaped after having his red card downgraded to a yellow card by an independent judicial committee.
Moala’s Tonga teammate Pita Ahki and Samoa loose forward Steven Luatua, who also played for the All Blacks, both made their feelings known about the disciplinary decisions on social media.
Exactly george Moala has a clear record and @WorldRugby has given him 10 weeks for a tip tackle? This guy has had how many red cards and gets off clean? How? Fuck this pisses me off https://t.co/nd7jeICRap
— pita ahki (@AhkiPita) August 15, 2023
No Ban? What a joke.
— Steven Luatua (@StevenLuatua) August 15, 2023
Tonga internationals Cooper Vuna and Sam Lousi also chimed in to decry the differential treatment of players from Tier Two nations.
— Cooper Vuna (@CVUNA) August 15, 2023
Tier 2 teams really do get treated differently 🤦🏽♂️ ffs https://t.co/vD5HR26M6j
— Sam Lousi (@samlousi) August 15, 2023
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) August 15, 2023