Should a SECOND Maroon have been sin-binned over Origin fight? Tino Fa’asuamaleaui under heavy scrutiny for role in biff as Matt Burton and Dane Gagai’s punishments are revealed
- Many Blues fans were stunned forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui wasn’t sin-binned
- He held Matt Burton in a headlock as Dane Gagai unleashed series of punches
- Referee Ashley Klein then sent Gagai and Burton to the sin bin following biff
- Seemingly impossible to be sent off or be issued serious charges from Origin
Scores of NSW Blues fans are adamant Queensland enforcer Tino Fa’asuamaleaui should also have been sin-binned for his role in the biff involving teammate Dane Gagai and NSW centre Matt Burton in the Origin decider.
Early in the second half at Suncorp Stadium, the gripping encounter – eventually won 22-12 by the hosts – quickly descended into chaos when Gagai took exception to Burton knocking over Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga seconds after he made a break.
As the opposing centres stood and traded a flurry of punches, Fa’asuamaleaui rushed to the aid of Gagai as third man in.
NSW Blues fans are adamant Queensland enforcer Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (pictured) should also have been sin-binned for his role in the biff involving teammate Dane Gagai and NSW centre Matt Burton in the Origin decider
Seconds later the Gold Coast Titans forward held the Blues back in a headlock as Gagai continued to throw haymakers at Burton.
Incredibly, Fa’asuamaleaui stayed on the paddock as Gagai and Burton were both sent to the sin-bin by referee Ashley Klein.
The respective centres were later fined for their on-field conduct – but are free to play this weekend for their NRL sides despite grade-two striking offences.
Dane Gagai was sin-binned for his role in the biff, but had the last laugh after Queensland won the series (pictured left, with teammate Valentine Holmes)
Fa’asuamaleaui was issued two charges – a grade-two careless high tackle on Burton in the ninth minute, and grade-one dangerous contact for his role in the 41st-minute melee.
He will lose 20 per cent of his match fee following both incidents.
With suspensions stemming from Origin matches seemingly off the table, enforcers from both interstate teams look to have the green light for a modern-day ‘free for all’.
Maroons debutant Tom Gilbert was also guilty of giving Burton some ‘special attention’ leading into the brawl with the use of his shoulder.
Fa’asuamaleaui was issued with two charges – a grade two careless high tackle on Burton in the ninth minute, and grade one dangerous contact for his role in the 41st-minute melee (pictured, with Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans
Matt Burton (pictured) and Dane Gagai were fined $3450 for their biff – or 23 per cent of their match payments
NRL boss Peter V’landys later stated the game was ‘state passion on steroids.’
As the instigator, Gagai was issued with a $3450 fine, which equates to just 23 per cent of his match fee.
Burton harshly copped the same punishment, with match payments standing at $15,000 per player.
Incredibly, Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans (pictured) told referee Ashley Klein that Gagai was justified in punching Burton repeatedly in the face because the Blues had been cheating ‘all series’
The incident was a throw back to the wild days of the 1980s – and while some footy fans love the biff, with concussions and head injuries an ongoing concern in the modern game, it was unacceptable behaviour in front of an audience of at least three million.
Fired up Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans told referee Klein that Gagai was justified in punching Burton repeatedly in the face because the Blues had been cheating ‘all series’.
When Klein sent both centres for a 10-minute spell, a furious Cherry-Evans said Burton’s hit on Ponga was an illegal tactic NSW had been using in all three Origin games.
Burton – who fired back with a few wild swings of his own – was sin-binned along with Gagai in the most dramatic moment of a match filled with sensational incidents
The stoush between Gagai and Burton was the first time punches have been thrown in an Origin match since Paul Gallen put a few into Nate Myles in 2013
‘All game and all series, they have taken us out off the ball. All series! All series!’ he shouted.
The skipper then implied Gagai was right to punch Burton by saying, ‘What did you expect to happen?’
Klein told the halfback to settle his team down to avoid a repeat of the clash, to which Cherry-Evans replied, ‘I will, I will, but they can’t keep doing that s**t! They can’t keep doing it!’
It was also the first Origin biff since former NSW skipper Paul Gallen punched Nate Myles in 2013.