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Cheetahs cop another hefty ban

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PRO 14    

Cheetahs' three-week Irish and Welsh tour ends with second lengthy player suspension

Cheetahs have wrapped up their three-week Irish and Welsh tour copping a second hefty ban.

Nico Lee was suspended for a massive 13 weeks for a truly foul act that was deemed ‘contrary to the spirit of sport’ – Lee cleared the contents of his nose onto the face of Connacht’s Colby Fainga’a during a match in Galway on February 16. 

He will now be joined on the sidelines in South Africa by Ox Nche following his eight-week ban for the yellow card incident he was involved in last Friday in Dublin. 

Nche was reported by the match citing commissioner for alleged infringement of Law 9.12 – a player must not physically abuse anyone – and Law 9.25 – a player must not intentionally charge or obstruct an opponent who has just kicked the ball.

The Cheetah was sin-binned on nine minutes at the RDS for his collision with Leinster’s Fergus McFadden and an all-Scottish disciplinary committee comprising of Kathrine Mackie (chair), Roddy MacLeod and Ian Douglas concluded that Nche had committed an act of foul play involving contact to the head.

(Continue reading below…)

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In upholding the citing complaint, the disciplinary committee deemed the offence merited a red card under Law 9.12 (striking with the shoulder) and that the contact to the head was intentional with a top-end entry point of 10 weeks. 

The committee took into account the player’s previously clean disciplinary record and his good conduct and applied 20 percent mitigation which reduced the ban to eight weeks.

To ensure the eight-week ban accounts for meaningful matches played by the Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14 and the Currie Cup, Nche, who has the right to appeal, will be free to play from midnight on Sunday, May 19.

Nche’s suspension capped a tough three weeks for his club as they lost at Connacht, Scarlets and Leinster and have fallen to sixth place in the seven-team Conference A. 

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Cheetahs' three-week Irish and Welsh tour ends with second lengthy player suspension