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WATCH | French furore: Fijian player red-carded for lifting referee

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Has the fun factor gone out of rugby?

MUST READ | SIYA KOLIS’S MOVE TO THE SHARKS GATHERS STEAM

The coach of French second division club Nevers, Xavier Pemeja, said Fijian wing Josaia Raisuqe lifting the referee into the air was unacceptable after Friday’s win at Beziers.

Raisuqe grabbed official Laurent Millotte by the waist and him took off his feet as he celebrated the 30-25 Pro D2 victory before being red carded.

‘HE’LL BE PUNISHED’, PROMISES TEAM COACH

“It’s intolerable. He’ll be punished by the league’s disciplinary committee,” Pemeja told Canal+ television.

“I’ll deal with him. I can’t accept it. What happened at the end there it’s going to be very bad,” he added.

RAISUQU IS AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED AFTER THE RED CARD

Raisuqe, 26, who is automatically suspended after the red card, joined the club in 2017 after two seasons with top-flight Stade Francais where he scored three tries in 11 games.

In July 2017 he was sacked by the Parisian outfit after he was accused of sexual assault – which he denied.

IN CLOSING | CURRIE CUP SEMI-FINALS PUSHED BACK A WEEK

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Springbok hard man Eben Etzebeth adds flank to his rugby CV

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Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth started the first game of his career at blindside flanker in Toulon’s 35-13 home victory over 14-man Stade Francais on Sunday.

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Argentina flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time after making contact with the head of the hosts’ Baptiste Serin at a ruck.

The three-time European champions climbed up to third place as the visitors remain in eighth, five points away from the play-offs.

Eben Etzebeth was moved from lock by Toulon coach Patrice Collazo minutes before kick-off as Swann Rebbadj pulled out in the warm-up.

Away coach Gonzalo Quesada made 10 alterations from the loss at Toulouse earlier this month.

Collazo’s men led 15-6 just after the half-hour mark as ex-All Black Isaia Toeava and France flyhalf Louis Carbonel crossed.

An apologetic Sanchez was sent off in the final play of the half after his shoulder made contact with Serin’s head while attempting to make a clear-out at a breakdown.

Eben Etzebeth completed the full 80 minutes on his 20th appearance for Toulon.

WATCH | SIYA KOLISI SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HIS WIFE MAY BREAK THE INTERNET

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Cheslin Kolbe returns to help Toulouse hammer lowly Agen

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Toulouse defence coach Laurent Thuery praised Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe’s attitude as he played his first game since mid-December to help Toulouse return to the Top 14 summit on Saturday with a 59-0 rout of bottom side Agen.

READ | SHARKS JOIN FORCES WITH JAY’Z ROC NATION

Cheslin Kolbe, who missed four games with a finger injury, set up the league’s top try scorer Matthis Lebel for one of his three efforts.

“Cheslin Kolbe played a serious game on the wing and a little bit at fullback in the second half,” Thuery told the post-match press conference.

“He applied himself throughout the match. It’s good for next week and the match against La Rochelle. We’re going to need everyone one,” he added.

The record 20-time champions move back to the top of the table after La Rochelle, where they head next Sunday, had taken the lead with Friday’s 40-3 hammering of Bayonne.

WATCH | SIYA KOLISI SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HIS WIFE MAY BREAK THE INTERNET

The weekend’s fixtures were brought forward by the National Rugby League (LNR) to fill the gap left by the cancellation of European games due to fears of the new coronavirus variant in Britain and Ireland.

In addition to Lebel’s hat-trick, which took the 21-year-old’s season tally up to 11 in 12 league matches, hooker Julien Marchand, lock Emmanuel Meafou, scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, flanker Alban Placines and substitute Peato Mauvaka were also on the scoresheet to inflict a record equalling 15th straight loss on the home side.

Former New Zealand loose forward Jerome Kaino, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup twice, came off the bench with half an hour to play for his first appearance in 10 weeks after recovering from an ankle issue.

OPINION | HOW JAKE WHITE HAS TURNED LOFTUS VERSFELD INTO A FORTRESS

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Latest rugby news | Sharks join forces with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation

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The Sharks have announced a new global partnership with internationally acclaimed agency, Roc Nation.

READ | CURRIE CUP SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW: TEAM LINE-UPS AND PREDICTIONS

The KwaZulu-Natal union hope the partnership will ensure the strength and growth of the Sharks as an international sporting brand.

Roc Nation was founded in 2008 by rapper Jay-Z and has offices in New York City, London, Nashville and Los Angeles. Among the singers they promote are global superstars Rihanna and Shakira.

Both the Sharks and Roc Nation are built on a strong notion of family and entertainment, and the partnership has been designed to reward, excite, and challenge the norm, reaching new audiences via purpose-driven initiatives and creative community-facing activation.

The ambitions of the Sharks to dominate rugby as a sport as well as placing the brand at the forefront of rugby globally will be aided greatly through the partnership with Roc Nation, a relationship that will add value to current and future commercial partnerships through innovative activation and global amplification.

OPINION | HOW JAKE WHITE HAS TURNED LOFTUS VERSFELD INTO A FORTRESS

“Roc Nation is an internationally renowned brand and we are delighted to welcome them to the Sharks family,” said Eduard Coetzee, CEO of the Sharks. 

“With their expertise and relationships in the international market, our vision of taking the Sharks brand to the world is very much on track. Working together with our team at the Sharks, Roc Nation will assist in growing our fan base in new territories and will ensure that our approach will always be of an international standard. We look forward to the sharing of minds, a bold approach and the creativity that this partnership will produce, that will position our brand as the leading brand in world rugby”.

Commenting on the exciting alliance between the two business entities, Michael Yormark, Co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified said: “Roc Nation is thrilled to embark on this unique partnership with the Sharks, supporting Ed and his first-class management team to position the club as the premium rugby club in South Africa and around the world. Leveraging our subject-matter experts across our International offices we are confident that the Sharks will be the envy of the rugby world, attracting top players from around the world.

“Success in this partnership is not just accomplishment on-field, but how we build upon the business structure to guarantee long-term sustainable success.”

WATCH | SIYA KOLISI SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HIS WIFE MAY BREAK THE INTERNET

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