Super Rugby round 12
Genia slams Western Force tactics
May 5, 2013
Queensland Reds' Will Genia reacted angrily to his treatment by Western Force © Getty Images
Queensland Reds scrum-half Will Genia has accused the Western Force of playing outside the spirit of the game, claiming he was unfairly targeted in Saturday night's 11-11 Super Rugby draw at Perth's nib Stadium.
Genia's frustrations boiled over several times during the match after copping what he deemed was unfair attention.
At one stage, he and Matt Hodgson wrestled on the ground after the Force skipper delivered a driving tackle as Genia released the ball.
"It's just frustrating, because they're trying to keep you out of the game," Genia said. "Like tackling you late, holding you off the ball, grabbing you and pulling you away from the rucks - all sorts of things. I don't think it's in the spirit of the game. It's annoying. You don't get the opportunity to play and get into the game. It's smart play by them if they're going to get away with it. But I think it needs to be policed better."
Genia's comments add to the bitter rivalry between the two sides, with Queensland rugby still fuming about how the Force poached so many of its star players when they were formed in 2006. Interestingly, Genia agreed to join the Force last season, before doing a backflip and re-signing with the Reds.
Queensland director of coaching Ewen McKenzie said the Force frustrated, harassed and harangued his team, and said referee Rohan Hoffmann was made well aware of the mistreatment being dished out to Genia.
"The touch judges were talking about it to the refs, so it wasn't like it wasn't identified," McKenzie said.
Force coach Michael Foley defended his team's tactics.
"There was nothing that was untoward in what we did. We just tried to put as much pressure on their two key guys as best we could," Foley said in relation to Genia and five-eighth Quade Cooper. "What we tried to do was put as much line speed as we could in our defence. We practised line speed all week. We felt we were a little bit passive against the Brumbies."
The Reds trailed 11-3 after Ben McCalman's 52nd-minute try, but the visitors dominated play from that point to secure the draw.
Reds skipper James Horwill endured a forgettable night. The influential lock was substituted at half-time after having his head slammed into the turf during a strong tackle. And there was further pain to come after the match, with the 27-year-old issued with an off-field yellow card for stamping on Force scrum-half Pek Cowan during a third-minute breakdown.
The Reds have failed to beat the struggling Force in their past three encounters. But McKenzie said he wasn't worried about the latest result, claiming his team were still well placed to secure a high ladder position.
"I'm not going to sit here and stress about it. We're further up the ladder than a lot of other teams," he said.