How the Wallabies will fight to clear Marika Koroibete for first Bledisloe Cup match


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said on Sports Sunday: “There is head contact but we reckon the initial contact was on the body. If you see the head, it tilts forward first before it goes back and that’s a bit of a telltale sign that the first part of contact is on the body.”

Shadow between Marika Koroibete’s shoulder and Anthony Jelonch’s head indicates the first contact was on the French captain’s shoulder.Credit:Nine

Having Koroibete available to face the All Blacks is vital but Rugby Australia also want to make a point of ensuring players do not feign injuries in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage. Jelonch theatrically grabbed at his face after the Koroibete tackle and stayed down to draw the attention of officials, which prompted Wallabies coach Dave Rennie to chide the French for “milking″⁣.

“First and foremost, I want to say that we are really supportive of safety and player welfare at all levels. We’re really supportive of that,” Johnson said.

“The frustration from our perspective is that it appears we are looking for ways to give cards. We want the game to be safe and we understand that there is mitigation but it’s a contact sport. If you slow everything down to minute details, you’re always going to be looking for issues.

“The one thing we’re also concerned about as a sport – and is a really big concern of mine – is the amount of players that are staying down. That’s not what our sport should be about.

Anthony Jelonch grabs his face and falls over well after the tackle, which made no contact with his face.

Anthony Jelonch grabs his face and falls over well after the tackle, which made no contact with his face.Credit:Nine

“If it’s genuine, no issue. But we shouldn’t be playing for penalties or cards. That’s for another code. That’s not us.

“We owe it to the sport and we owe it to the next generation not to do that. If you’re genuinely hurt, no one has an issue. We don’t want that in sport. And I’m not having a specific go at (Jelonch). But that’s what we’re getting in the game.”

Johnson also believes the decision to send Koroibete off is further proof World Rugby should follow the lead of Super Rugby and adopt the 20 minute red card.

“Everyone knows our opinion of that. Where we got with the red card in Super Rugby is a place we feel is a valued compromise,” he said.

“We think that’s the right way to go. Knowing that in some cases, there will be the wrong decision.

Baptiste Couilloud elbows Tate McDermott on his way to scoring a try. There was no penalty.

Baptiste Couilloud elbows Tate McDermott on his way to scoring a try. There was no penalty.Credit:Getty

“We’re going to challenge the process here because we feel there was mitigation that wasn’t considered.”

Rennie expressed his displeasure with France’s play acting in several post-game interviews on Saturday, saying they went down like they’d been shot by “a sniper″⁣. And he wasn’t backing down on Nine’s Sports Sunday program.

“We are disappointed that the French laid down on a couple of those situations to try and bring the ref into the game,” Rennie said.

“There were certainly two clear times where Couilloud scored his try, forearm straight to the throat of Tate McDermott but Tate doesn’t lie down and bring the ref’s attention to it because we don’t want to do that sort of thing. It’s not in the spirit of the game.

“Likewise, Hunter Paisami copped one in the jaw. Frustrating we had to play with 14 but really proud of the character the boys showed.”


On the injury front, Filipo Daugunu will play no part in The Rugby Championship. He had surgery on a broken arm suffered in the second minute of the 33-30 win and will be sidelined for about eight weeks.

The prognosis on Lachie Swinton’s ankle injury isn’t as bad but he will be racing the clock to prove his fitness for the first Bledisloe on August 7.

Meanwhile, RA are thrilled with the television ratings for Saturday’s series decider.

The peak national audience hit 952,000 and the average national audience was 691,000 – making the match the highest watched non-news program of the night. Stan Sport also estimated more than 200,000 watched on the streaming platform.

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