Joseph Sua’ali’i banned four matches for dirty hit on Reece Walsh

06/06/2024
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The match review committee has given Sua’ali’i a four match ban

Joseph Sua’ali’i will be making a switch to rugby union in 2025. He could never play in a State of Origin match again

News Insights

  • Sua’ali’i came in late with a shoulder directly to Walsh’s head.
  • The match review committee charged Sua’ali’i with grade 2 reckless conduct, suspending him for four matches.
  • Sua’ali’i announced in 2023 that he would be switching to rugby union.
  • Sua’ali’i may never get the chance to play for NSW ever again.

State of Origin rookie Joseph Sua’ali’i could never play for New South Wales again in the prestigious tournament after committing a dirty tackle on Queensland’s Reece Walsh. Sua’ali’i was ejected from the match and has now received an additional four match ban from the match review committee. 

Sua’ali’i commits horror tackle 

Wednesday’s NSW vs. Queensland match was marred by a truly terrible tackle by Blues centre Joseph Sua’ali’i on Maroons fullback Reece Walsh.  
 
Just seven minutes into the match, Sua’ali’i came in late with a shoulder directly to Walsh’s head. Everyone watching in the stand and around Australia on TV knew that Sua’ali’i would be sent off for the horror tackle.  
 
Sua’ali’i was indeed sent off, becoming the sixth player to be sent off in State of Origin history. He also earned the bad record of being the earliest player sent off in Origin history.  
 
The match review committee felt those distasteful honours were not enough. The committee charged him with grade 2 reckless conduct, suspending him for four matches due to his guilty plea.  

Maroons coach warned for comments to Sua’ali’i  

Joseph Sua’ali’i was not the only one in hot water after Wednesday’s State of Origin match. Queensland assistant coach Nate Myles was warned about his conduct towards Sua’ali’i as he left the field.  
 
As Sua’ali’i was walking off the field following his sending off, Myles said to centre “I hope you enjoyed your debut.” 
 
Sua’ali’i did not respond. Nevertheless, an NRL official issued a warning to Myles about his comment. 

Sua’ali’i State of Origin career may be over 

Wednesday’s New South Wales vs. Queensland match was Joseph Sua’ali’i’s first ever State of Origin game. It could also be his last.  
 
Sua’ali’i announced in 2023 that he would be switching to rugby union. The young star signed a three-year deal with Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs. He will be paid $2 million a year through the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia. 
 
NSW coach Michael Maguire’s decision to call up Sua’ali’i following his code switch was a major controversy. We’re sure Maguire and Blues fans all hoped Sua’ali’i would silence the doubters by performing well in his rookie campaign.  
 
Unfortunately for them and Sua’ali’i, his debut could not have gone worse and will probably stain his rugby league reputation for years. 

Because of his massive contract, code switch, and now controversial reputation, Sua’ali’i may never get the chance to play for NSW ever again.  

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