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Big Ban for Big Willie?
Posted by southstander on November 06 2006 - 08:45:00

Thug

By now I am sure that everyone must have seen the Mason punch on Stuart Fielden. With the GB v. Australia match just minutes old, Fielden squared up to Willie Mason and was 'decked' by a single punch which left the Wigan prop reeling and with a broken nose.

Unsurprisingly, Ashley Klein did nothing about it, not even deeming the unprovoked punch worthy of being put on report. The British public were as one screaming at their TV screens for the Canterbury player to get his marching orders.

Read more here...

Ricky Stuart has today called for no action to be taken against Mason when he gets hauled in-front of the tri-nations disciplinary panel today. This must be a request based more in optimism than realism as surely the panel have no option but to hand Mason a hefty ban.

I watched open-mouthed as events unfolded early on saturday morning. Early hit-ups showed promise of a monumental battle, but Masons unprovoked right-jab raised the stakes and shocked the watching public. After a bit of harmless jostling, Mason downed Fielden with a single punch and sparked an early fracas. Fielden didn't know what had hit him, and the officials were clueless as to what had happened.

Most spectators like a 'bit of biff' in their rugby, but Masons actions were nothing short of criminal. There was no reason for punches to be thrown and the big fellas' short fuse - no doubt further shortened by the Aussie press - was quickly ignited with devastating effect.

How anyone can defend Masons actions is beyond me. Anyone seeing the tape of the incident will wince at Masons stupidity and speculate as to the duration of the ban.

I'm not sure that this guy should have a place in our game to be honest. Controlled aggression and passion are fine and to be encouraged, but out and out thuggery is not welcome in the game. The Aussies, Mason and Stuart need to take a long hard look at this incident and consider whether this is really what we want to see.

A long ban for Mason? I do hope so!

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