|Viktor Kolelishvili charges against Russia|
A massive brawl unfolded in yesterday´s international match in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi after 22 time capped Lelos back-rower Viktor Kolelishvili tackled Canadian fly half Liam Underwood in an illegal and dangerous manner in the 36th minute.
The incident changed the match with Kolelishvili being red carded for the tackle while Canadian back-rower and first time captain Tyler Ardron was also sent-off. In responding to the dangerous and careless tackle Ardron was blamed for starting the brawl that followed as virtually all thirty players on the park got involved with numerous players from both sides throwing punches as the referee and both touch judges tried their best to return order.
Although Ardron responded in an aggressive manner to defend Underwood the video replay made it clear that he had in fact been on the recieving end of solid punches, much more so than what he had given as Kolelishvili hit Ardron with multiple square punches to the face. Having completed a very dangerous tackle on Underwood Kolelishvili then assaulted Ardron and other Canadian players.
The disgraceful incident could well see a long term ban for the Georgian back-rower. It is not a question of whether or not he ought to be banned but for how long. Had it been a high profile match between Tier One nations then certainly there would be plenty of calls for a twelve month or even a life ban. The IRB will now need to act swiftly in the coming days to ensure that such an incident cannot repeat itself. Ardron, in contrast, is highly unlikely to recieve any further punishment.
Upon recieving the card neither Kolelishvili nor captain Mamuka Gorgodze appeared to be surprized. For its troubles Canada not only lost its captain but Underwood was also in trouble as the tackle had caused damage meaning he had to be replaced. Hooker Ray Barkwill was also replaced which saw Benoit Piffero earning his first test cap.