Super Rugby Pacific: Fijian Drua players shown red after headbutt and elbowing incidents against Melbourne Rebels

Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne has apologised after two of his players were sent off for foul play in their 41-20 defeat to the Melbourne Rebels during round seven of Super Rugby Pacific.  

The Rebels were well in control of the contest when Drua halfback Frank Lomani and replacement prop Jone Koroiduadua lashed out in frustration during two separate incidents in the second half.   

Lomani, who used to play for the Rebels, slammed his elbow down on the back of Rebels lock Josh Canham's head in the 58th minute.  

Just 16 minutes later, Koroiduadua headbutted Rebels hooker Alex Mafi right in front of referee Aaron Murphy after the hosts won a scrum penalty.  

Both men were quickly shown red by Murphy after TMO reviews. 

Lomani and Koroiduadua weren't the only ill-disciplined Drua players during the match, with Lock Ratu Rotuisolia shown a yellow card for a high shot in the first half.   

Speaking with media post-match, Byrne said there was no excuse for the behaviour.   

"There was definitely frustration there but that's no excuse. I apologise to the people back home for the two red cards, which were costly," Byrne said.   

"The players need to find it in themselves to sort their discipline out if we want to get our season back on track." 

Drua's captain Meli Derenalagi agreed with his coach, adding his side lost their heads during the match.   

"I can't say a lot about that because it's so uncharacteristic of our players," said Derenalagi. "For me and the team, we'll go back and try and talk as players about how we can stay calm when the pressure rises, so that's a major work-on for us."

 Frank Lomani of the Drua.
Frank Lomani of the Drua. Photo credit: Getty Images

After the match, former Wallaby Justin Harrison described the two moments as "insane and total stupidity".  

Lomani and Koroiduadua are likely to receive bans for their actions and Rotuisolia could be sighted by Super Rugby's judiciary panel.  

The result sees the Rebels move up to fourth place in the Super Rugby Pacific standings. The Drua currently remain in seventh, however, they continue to struggle away from home, losing all four games outside of Fiji. 

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