IT SEEMS a noble savage among the neglected tribes of rugbydom is at last standing by the courage of his conviction.

Not only has Samoa rugby player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu ruffled the feathers of the International Rugby Board (IRB) but he has supposedly also shown disdain towards the governing body by not turning up to his judicial hearing yesterday.

How dare he?

A centre in the best of the Pacific Island nation teams competing in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Fuimaono-Sapolu has gradually worked his way into the epicentre of an earthquake whose aftershocks are jolting not only an archaic mindset but also the very foundation of a sport whose structure fosters segregation and an uneven distribution of resources.


His broadside comes on the heels of NZRU CEO Steve Tew's implausible threat to boycott the next Rugby World Cup if the IRB doesn't urge the Northern Hemisphere to share their spoils to help pull New Zealand out of a financial quagmire.

What Tew did is rugby heresy. If any other second-tier nation made such demands they would have been ostracised.

Can the World Cup do without the Men in Black?

Most certainly - among other things 9/11 has taught the world, it is not to give in to terrorists.

Conversely, when South Africa were kicked into exile for decades because of their government's decadent Apartheid policy they often left the "world" of rugby asking the question: "Really? Is such and such a team good enough to beat the Springboks?"

Similarly, if the All Blacks don't play then chances are the 2015 world champions will return home with a hollow victory.

Fuimaono-Sapolu is also a terrorist but almost in the mould of a rebel without a cause because millions will agree with his attention-seeking methods but, officially, not a single island nation will endorse it.

For example, when Fiji were kicked out of the Commonwealth after the 1987 military coup the Melanesians' only preoccupation was to ensure they could carry on playing rugby.

Money was never an issue. Evidently, even the military might of Fiji bowed to political pressure in this World Cup.

Therein lies the gobsmacking disparity of grievances between a top-tier nation and their Pacific Island neighbours.

The islanders meekly receive IRB's sense of justice by turning the other cheek for fear of riling the rugby gods.

Fuimaono-Sapolu has copped an indefinite suspension from all rugby. Never mind he last night revealed on TV One's Close Up programme that he had not received any notification to appear before a kangaroo court.

For what it's worth, Fuimaono-Sapolu isn't just any jungle bunny.

The 30-year-old is reportedly a legal eagle and, judging by his repetitive use of "natural justice" and other such jargon on telly last night, it seems he is in for the long haul in this off-field brawl, albeit on his own.

He has taunted the IRB from the dark alleyway of social networking website Twitter but to front up now will require immense courage. He stands to lose not just the glory of playing for his country but also take a hit in the pocket - from his English club, Gloucester, or any other team he tries to woo.

Already in the financial doldrums, the Samoa Rugby Union isn't going to protect him even though deep down the union and other neighbouring island nations will echo his sentiments when they pass the grog (kava) bowl around to scull the bitter concoction at the risk of meningitis.

In many instances, for the islanders, playing rugby takes precedence over going to church on Sundays. The mighty Michael Jones is the exception, rather than the norm.

If Jones, also a lawyer, had engaged in such diatribe then perhaps the reaction would have been different.

Needless to say, the ex-All Black flanker wouldn't have lost the plot.

For Fuimaono-Sapolu to liken the scheduling of Samoa's World Cup matches to the Holocaust is definitely over the top.

To label Welsh referee Nigel Owens a "racist" and "biased" amid expletive-ridden Twitter outbursts is puerile, after Samoa's exit from the World Cup in their 13-5 pool D defeat to South Africa on Friday.

However, it's not just a case of addressing inequity but justice has to be seen to be done.

Not for a minute am I implying referees are cheats.

For instance, one has to question the merit of appointing Bryce Lawrence, of New Zealand, as referee in the Fiji v Samoa game.

Isn't Auckland the Polynesian capital of the world and aren't majority of Samoans residents or citizens here?

No, Fiji didn't deserve to win the game but if it was a close affair Lawrence's decisions would have come under intense scrutiny.

For the record, Paul Williams deserved to be sent off the field for striking South African flanker Heinrich Brussow in the face - open palm, Hollywood or not. The game was a test of mental fortitude as much as it was a physical battle. Samoa lost that, too.

Unfortunately, referee Owens erred in trying to appease the masses by sinbinning hooker John Smit.

Indisputably, Fuimaono-Sapolu and Tew's timing was impeccable because holding fire until after the World Cup will be perceived as sour grapes.

And, please, don't get me started on the disparities of "ambush marketing" with mouthguards and ball cheats.