Jordan Rapana suspended for two games for shoulder charge in All Stars Game

Rapana was sin-binned in the first half. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Rapana was sin-binned in the first half. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Jordan Rapana attracted the ire of the match review committee just 13 minutes into the first game on the NRL calendar.

The fiery Canberra Raiders back will miss the first two games of the 2022 season after being cited for a shoulder charge in Saturday night’s All Stars Game, a 16-10 win to the Māori side.

At fullback for the Māori All Stars, Rapana laid a textbook shoulder charge on Indigenous All Stars back-rower David Fifita, who was in the throes of a line break down the right flank.

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Fifita, one of the toughest men in rugby league, needed to leave the field for medical attention after Rapana’s hit but later returned and is expected to line up for round one of the regular season.

“I think it was a rib cartilage (injury). He might miss a week or two,” said Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley after the game.

“He might miss a trial (game), he may not.”
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Rapana clearly didn’t learn his lesson after cleaning Fifita up.

He put a similar hit on Jesse Ramien just six minutes later on the same side of the field, sparking a wild all-in brawl that spilt onto the sidelines.

Playing his first game since he was put in an induced coma in the 2021 season, Indigenous All Stars enforcer Andrew Fifita was sin-binned for his role in the fracas.

Rapana stood to the side smiling as Fifita was marched but soon followed him to the naughty corner. No one was charged over the brawl.

Rapana spent ten in the bin. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Rapana spent ten in the bin. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Due to carry-over points, Rapana will miss two games whether or not he pleads guilty to his shoulder charge.

Rapana is a walk-up starter for the Raiders so the club will need to reshuffle its backline for clashes with the Sharks and Sea Eagles.

After stirring cultural performances from both sides, the All Stars outfits played out an epic clash with incredible cultural significance on Saturday night.

“That’s what this game is all about, it’s about representing our cultures and respecting each other’s cultures, too. What a way to start the 2022 season,” said Māori All Stars co-captain Kodi Nikorima.

Indigenous captain Josh Addo-Carr said he hoped more All-Stars games could be pencilled in, suggesting the mid-season State Of Origin window as the perfect time to play another clash.

“You’ve just seen the passion out there. I’ve been a part of Origin and that’s Origin standard, that,” he said.

“The speed of the game as well and the way we hit each other is pretty much the same.

“I think we need more games like that.”

“I’m proud of both cultures,” said Māori coach David Kidwell.

“I’m proud of my boys for what they’ve done tonight, they had to dig hard. It was a tough game. It was intense.

“I’m also proud of the Indigenous for how they represented themselves tonight. I thought they did themselves proud.”

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