Samoa Tweeter to face hearing after Ref rant

Samoa center Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu will face a misconduct hearing for criticizing Nigel Owens’ refereeing performance, one of four players cited Sunday for disciplinary breaches in the last round of pool matches at the Rugby World Cup.

Fuimaono-Sapolu described Owens’ refereeing as “absolutely horrendous” on Twitter after Samoa lost 13-5 to South Africa, adding “get s.a into next round. The plan was obvious. Can’t wait 2 meet irb members in public.”

The International Rugby Board issued a statement saying “the charge follows a previous formal warning issued to the Samoa Rugby Union regarding social media conduct by the same player.”

Samoan officials apologized to the IRB on behalf of Fuimaono-Sapolu last week after he likened the team’s four-day gap between playing Namibia and the crunch Pool D match against Wales to slavery and apartheid.

Jeff Blackett of England will hear Fuimaono-Sapolu’s case at a date and time to be confirmed.

England winger Delon Armitage was charged for a dangerous high tackle on Scotland fullback Chris Paterson late in the second half of England’s comeback 16-12 win at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Bruce Squire will hear his case at 1 p.m. local time (0000 GMT) in Auckland on Monday.

A player from each team was cited from Tonga’s upset 19-14 win over France in Wellington.

Sukanaialu Hufanga was banned for five weeks late Sunday by Christopher Quinlan of England for a dangerous tip tackle on French winger Vincent Clerc.

Organizers said in a statement that “the offense was deemed to be mid-range” but there was an “absence of aggravating factors.”

Hufanga can resume playing on Nov. 7. He has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.

Quinlan will hear the case involving a similar charge against France’s Fabrice Estebanez on Monday afternoon.


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