'He eye gouged me!' Vikings cite Fiji for shocking play

The Canberra Vikings have lodged a formal citing of a Fiji Drua player after a shocking on-field incident in their National Rugby Championship clash on Friday night.

Vikings hooker Folau Faingaa accused a Fijian player of eye gouging him at the bottom of a ruck in the first half of Canberra's thumping 66-5 win at Viking Park.

The incident soured Fiji's first trip to the capital and the player involved could face a lengthy ban if found guilty of the alleged action.

Faingaa won a penalty at a ruck, but fell to his knees and clutched his eyes after the referee blew his whiste.

When referee Angus Gardner came to check on ACT Brumbies recruit Faingaa, he said: "He f------ eye gouged me.

The Fox Sports footage was inconclusive as Faingaa's head was obscured by three Fijian players trying to remove him from the ball.

It's understood Vikings officials spoke to the citing commissioner and the NRC on Saturday morning. The club is unable to comment on a judicial process.

"Our management have looked at it. We went through the process with the citing commissioner and that will be looked at on [Saturday]," said Vikings coach Tim Sampson.

Folau Faingaa.

Folau Faingaa. Photo: Fox Sports

"[Faingaa] is OK. I think there is some evidence there, but it's something the citing commissioner will go through."

Referee Gardner took no action on the field, but warned Fiji captain John Stewart of further ramifications.

"There's been an allegation of an eye gouge by No. 2 of the Canberra team," Gardner said.

"Listen to me ??? very, very serious.

"Someone will deal with it if there is an issue, after the game, but it's unacceptable, completely unacceptable.

"You need to speak to your players and anything like that is completely unacceptable."

It was the second ugly incident of Fiji's debut NRC season after hooker Samu Suguturaga was banned for 20 weeks after being found guilty of biting Brisbane City captain Andrew Ready.

The Vikings dominated Fiji and scored 10 tries to one to end a run of back to back losses.

Skipper Tom Cusack scored a hat-trick and Canberra fired a warning shot to its rivals in the title race.

"We're in a good position to go a long way ... if we lost [against Fiji] it was going to be hard to come in at the end and be in a good position come finals time," Cusack said.

"We've been together long enough, there are no more questions. You've got to perform."

Cusack, a Rio Olympian, is using the NRC as his launching pad towards more Super Rugby game time next year.

The Brumbies' back-row stocks took a hit last week when Ben Hyne suffered a serious knee injury. Hyne could be ruled out for up to nine months and miss the bulk of the Super Rugby season.

David Pocock will return to Canberra next year, while the Brumbies have recruited Western Force No. 8 Isi Naisarani.

Cusack is set to battle with Rob Valetini, Lolo Fakaosilea and Lachie McCaffrey for a starting spot.

"Hyne is a very big loss ... it was disheartening to see him go down like that," Cusack said.

"I'm not looking ahead [to Super Rugby], I'm just looking to putting in a good performance for the [Vikings]."

Canberra young gun Mack Hansen made his NRC debut from the bench to kickstart his career.

"It was awesome ... I was pretty nervous running out," Hansen said.

"You notice the physicality. Out of my couple touches, I ran straight into one and it was like running into a brick wall. It's a big step up, so just getting used to it."

This story 'He eye gouged me!' Vikings cite Fiji for shocking play first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.