Faingaa sweating on possible suspension

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Folau Faingaa might need to learn to keep his emotions in check, but Brumbies coach Dan McKellar hopes a red card is all the punishment he receives for a head butt against the Bulls.

Faingaa head butted a Bulls player in the 63rd minute of the Brumbies’ 38-28 win in Pretoria, letting some frustrations boil over, and leaving the Brumbies a man down for the second week in a row.

The young hooker is well and truly on the Wallabies radar, but any suspension could cost him a chance to feature in the June Test squad.

All red cards are referred to the SANZAAR judicial review committee, and Faingaa will find out his fate at a hearing on Monday at 5pm AEST.

McKellar hopes the committee doesn't come back with a hefty suspension for Faingaa, who has been one of the Brumbies’ best this season.

“Folau was excellent last week against the Lions, he played very well again today,” he said.

“It's a learning for him, you've just got to control your emotions.

“That's the reality and he let  the emotion get the better of him.

“I don't think it was vicious by any means but you'd like to think red card today would be sufficient enough penalty but there's a learning there for him.”


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Critically, the Brumbies showed they had learned a lesson from Rory Arnold’s red card in Johannesburg a week earlier, scoring two tries to seal the game against the Bulls, something with which co-captain Sam Carter was particularly pleased.

“We spoke to the guys out there, that was a really big moment and we wanted to deliver because last week we didn't and the Lions got three more tries and at the end of the day that was the difference, and this week we really aimed up and to nullify that and we did and that was the turning point in the game,” he said.

“We're not world beaters yet, we've got to go back home and do it again against the Sunwolves.”

A spectacular Tom Banks try put the Brumbies in a winning position before Andy Muirhead sealed the deal and McKellar it showed the team’s commitment was paying off.

“I think we played some of our best footy with 14 guys on the field there and I must admit, I did think it was a little bit of deja vu but I was really proud of our guys,” he said.

“We didn't tighten up and go into our shells, we kept playing and kept trying to execute the plan that we'd spoken about all week and scored some nice tries.

“Obviously Tom Banks's was individual brilliance. Andy Muirhead's try was a really good team try.

“I’m really proud of how we applied ourselves in the last 20 minutes.”

The Brumbies head back to Australia to take on the Sunwolves next Sunday, hoping to attract 15,000 fans for the clash.