Waratahs

Apologetic Tuqiri gets 3 days

on

 


 

An apologetic Lote Tuqiri has been forgiven by his teammates for his extraordinary act of abuse of Sam Norton-Knight, but the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is fast losing patience with the dual international.

It was reported in the Australian media that the ARU will offer Tuqiri a non-negotiable contract this week, with an ultimatum to sign within three days or have it withdrawn.

This follows just a day after Norton-Knight said he was “shocked” at being shoved and verbally abused by Tuqiri – following the blunder (by Norton-Knight) during the Waratahs’ 16-all draw against the Western Force on Fr8iday.

Norton-Knight earned the ire of Tuqiri after taking a quick tap in the dying seconds of the game on Friday night, denying Peter Hewat a penalty goal attempt which could have broken the deadlock.

While was in a forgiving mood afterwards, it is reported that the ARU is fast losing patience with being played off against NRL clubs for Tuqiri.

“He’ll have in the order of three days to sign or the deal is off,” a high-ranking ARU official told The Sunday Telegraph.

“The deal will not be negotiable and will be open for a very short time.”

Tuqiri had a very public meeting with Souths owner Peter Holmes recently and last week was spotted at Woolloomooloo wharf, dining with Reds coach Eddie Jones.

The ARU want to settle the Tuqiri contract issue and get the winger’s mind back on rugby in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Tuqiri’s frustrations boiled over after Friday night’s draw against Western Force at Aussie Stadium when he ran 30m to shove Norton-Knight and verbally abuse him.

“I was reflecting on the decision I’d made and I felt a bit shocked [at Tuqiri’s actions], but I moved on pretty quickly,” Norton-Knight said.

“I think about the actions I take rather than the words that were spoken to me.

“It had been going through my head what I’d done and I’d come up with the opinion I’d probably taken the wrong action.

“[Tuqiri] has been very apologetic and he was obviously incensed about my decision, as I was.

“I’m much harder on myself than anybody else possibly could be.

“I was pretty cut up inside, anyway, so that action probably wasn’t half what I was feeling.”

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie also said the matter was “done and dusted” and the club had decided against taking disciplinary action against Tuqiri.

“It was dealt with,” McKenzie said. “Lots of things go on and you deal with them.

“It’s accepted that in the heat of battle things happen out on the field.

“In the heat of battle it was a brain snap or two and it’s dealt with.”

Tuqiri blamed a “rush of blood” for verbally abusing and pushing Norton-Knight.

“I am a passionate footballer, but my passion overflowed … there was a rush of blood,” he said.

Tuqiri said that when NSW were awarded the crucial penalty, he thought the best option would be for Hewat to take the penalty kick.

“But he [Norton-Knight] obviously didn’t think that and backed himself,” Tuqiri said. “It probably wasn’t the right time to do it.”

But it is obvious the ARU is not going to let him of the hook that easily.

 

365Digital

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