Fiji front row, Vika Matarugu, appeared before an independent judicial committee on Wednesday having been cited in Fiji’s Rugby World Cup 2021 Pool C match against South Africa on 16 October, 2022. The citing was for an offence pursuant to Law 9.12 (striking with the shoulder), however the Committee directed that the citing hearing should instead proceed for an offence pursuant to Law 9.20(b) (making contact with an opponent in the ruck above the line of the shoulders).

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Helen Morgan (New Zealand), joined by former players Ofisa Tonu’u (New Zealand) and Becky Essex (England).

The player admitted that she committed an act of foul play but maintained that the red card threshold had not been met.

Having considered all the evidence, the independent committee applied World Rugby’s Head Contact Process and decided that the player’s act of foul play for a breach of Law 9.20(b) did not meet the red card threshold due to the lack of a high degree of danger in the contact.

On that basis, the independent committee deemed the act of foul play did not merit further sanction, and the citing complaint was dismissed.

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