Viliame Mata Opinion: RWC tacklers have had enough time to adjust to dangerous tackles

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Having spent the past fortnight in the tropics, I enjoyed watching an entire Rugby World Cup match — Fiji v Wales — in Japan.

It was outdoors at the Royal Suva Yacht Club, the intermittent drizzle failing to flatten the effervescent ambience of the army of fans fuelling on the flowing frothy stuff. It was a far cry from livestreaming, devoid of any buffering or frosty fare.

It was an interesting blend of different nationalities and ethnicities, including a Kiwi entrepreneur from Timaru. Eyes glued to a projected outdoor screen, they found comfortable perches to ride the emotional rollercoaster.

At halftime, the faithful had begun to believe but the second yellow card against Fiji put paid to that.

Not one person complained about the cards but after the final whistle a couple lamented how Wales hooker Ken Owens got away with a red card after picking up Fiji No 8 Viliame Mata before chucking him head first over his shoulder in the eighth minute.

Wales coach Warren Gatland’s jokes aside on wife Cary Owen saving her hubby’s bacon, the hooker walked away with a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Having returned home this week, I went through my RWC weekly wraps to find every single red card issued to date is warranted although the odd yellow one and “those who got away” again reaffirms my assertion the caste system for tier one and two nations still has a firm grip on rugby-dom.

With the mostly predictable

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