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Banned James Lowe to miss Toulouse showdown

By Online Editors

Leinster’s James Lowe has been banned following his red card for an aerial challenge on Munster’s Andrew Conway.

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Lowe faced a Disciplinary Hearing today via video conference today.

A Disciplinary Committee met in Neath (Wales) to consider the red-card decision against him which occurred against Munster Rugby on Saturday, December 29, 2018.

The New Zealander was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy under Law 9.17 – A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

The incident occurred in the 32nd minute of the Guinness PRO14 Round 12 Fixture at Thomond Park where the referee deemed the player to have committed an act of foul play against an opponent (No 14, Andrew Conway).

The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that his actions warranted a red card.

The Disciplinary Committee, comprising of Roger Morris (Chair), Ray Wilton and Rhian Williams (all Wales), concluded that the player had committed an act of foul play, that that act of foul play warranted a red card and so the referee’s decision to issue the red card was not wrong.

The Committee deemed the act warranted a low-end entry point of four weeks, which was reduced by 50 per cent due to the player’s clean disciplinary record and the conduct of the player and his club throughout the process.

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The Committee therefore banned the player for a period of two weeks meaning that he is free to play from midnight on Sunday, January 13 meaning he will miss his side’s Champions Cup game with Toulouse on Saturday, January 12.

The player was reminded of his right to appeal.

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Poorfour 5 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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