Ofa Tu’ungafasi after being sent off. Photo Courtesy/

All Blacks prop handed three-week ban

All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi has been handed a three-week ban following a red card picked against Wallabies on Saturday.

Tu’ungafasi was given marching orders at the 22nd minute in the Tri-Nations clash against Wallabies after his shoulder had made high contact with Wallabies Tom Wright.

He appeared before a Sanzaar judicial committee on Tuesday via video conference and was found guilty of having contravened law 9:13 hence being handed a three-week ban. He joins flank Lachlan Swinton who was also suspended following a similar offence in the clash that Wallabies won 24-22.

“The judicial committee found Tu’ungafasi guilty of contravening Law 9.13: ‘A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders,” reads a statement by the Judicial panel.

The foul play merited an entry point of six weeks, but a 50% reduction was applied due to Tu’ungafasi’s early guilty plea and his clean disciplinary record.

In his finding, the judicial committee chairman Robert Stelzner SC ruled the following:

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from the Player and from his legal representative, Stephen Cottrell, by majority decision the Judicial Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13.”

“With respect to sanction, the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and has a clean judicial record, the Player was entitled to a full 50% reduction.”

“The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including Saturday 20 February 2021. This sanction includes the Player’s next three scheduled matches as presented.”

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