Latu cited for dangerous play in Waratahs' Tokyo escape

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu has found himself in hot water at the judiciary again after being cited for dangerous play against the Sunwolves.

Latu was cited for an incident in the 79th minute of the game when the hooker appeared to dive at the knee of Sunwolves flanker Ed Quirk.

There was only one angle of the moment in the broadcast and it is unclear whether Latu uses his arms as he enters the ruck.

Quirk was stretchered off the field after the incident but no punishment was issued at the time.

Despite no on-field action being taken, SANZAAR’s judiciary announced its citing on Sunday, deeming the incident to be a red card level offence and suggesting that Latu did not use his arms in the incident.

Latu has been cited under Law 9.20 Dangerous play in a ruck or maul; a.) A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul; c.) A player must not intentionally collapse a ruck or a maul.

That news will be of little consolation to the Sunwolves, who were trailing by a point at the time and deep in attack.

Latu has a history of costly brain fades at both super rugby and Tests and is quickly becoming a target for opponents - he was yellow-carded in the final Bledisloe last year after reacting to niggle from New Zealand’s Codie Taylor and has also served suspensions in Super Rugby in recent seasons for brain snaps.

This incident does not seem so clear cut but any suspension for Latu would be a blow to the Waratahs, who are already light on front row experience.

Norths hooker JP Sauni would be next in line for the spot while Andrew Tuala also featured in the side’s trials.

The Waratahs have a bye this week before playing the Reds at the SCG in a fortnight.