Fijian Drua coach says language barrier an issue in Super Rugby
Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne has hit out at the challenges facing his team in Super Rugby, saying one of his players failed a concussion test because he could not understand English.
The Pacific island side were crushed by the Michael Hooper-led NSW Waratahs 46-17 in round two of the competition in Melbourne on Saturday evening.
They were forced to play with 13 men for a period in the second half due to injury and a yellow card, which left them with a weakened scrum that proved costly.
Byrne, a former Wallabies, All Blacks and Scotland assistant, bemoaned his side's bad luck, but also raised issues about the challenges they faced in their second season of Super Rugby.
"Last week we had a HIA (head injury assessment) where the doctor spoke in English to a player that doesn't understand English," he told reporters after Saturday's defeat.
"And he didn't get the question right because he didn't understand the question and we had to stand him down for 12 days.
"There's challenges for us. I'm not hiding away under excuses because we came out today (Saturday) and we went hard at them. It's just a challenge for us."
Byrne said he hoped the language barrier issue would be addressed by tournament organisers.
They now have one win from two after narrowly beating Moana Pasifika 36-34 in their season-opening game in Auckland, while the Waratahs have the same record.
NSW coach Darren Coleman admitted he was relieved to get the bonus point win after losing to the ACT Brumbies in the first round.
"I'm definitely happy. I thought half-time was a pivotal moment in our season, we were in a real fight there, confidence was being tested, a few individuals had to step up and I was so proud of how they stuck in it," he said.
"We ground them down, we stayed patient with our game plan, and we got over the top of them at the end."