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Disciplinary hearing rubs salt into wounding Hame Faiva red card

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Italy hooker Hame Faiva has had salt rubbed into the wound of his Guinness Six Nations red card as he will now miss the remainder of the tournament and some Benetton club matches after receiving a four-game suspension.

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At a virtually held disciplinary hearing, the front-rower challenged the decision by Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli to send him off for his shoulder connecting with the head of Ireland’s Dan Sheehan

The red card resulted in the match going to uncontested scrums as Gianmarco Lucchesi, the starting Italy hooker, couldn’t come back on due to injury and it left Kieran Crowley’s team having to sacrifice another player as a penalty and it left them playing the guts of an hour with 13 players.

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The post-disciplinary hearing Six Nations statement read: “Italy hooker Hame Faiva appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to law 9.13 (a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously) in the Guinness Six Nations match Ireland vs Italy on February 27.

“The independent judicial committee consisting of Simon Thomas (chair, Wales), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Lawrence Sephaka (South Africa) heard the case, considering all the available evidence and submissions from the player and his representatives.

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The player denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that the player had acted recklessly by committing a high and dangerous tackle whereby his shoulder had made direct contact with the neck of an opponent with significant force. This had been correctly sanctioned on-field by the match referee following World Rugby’s head contact process.

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“On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

“Having acknowledged no aggravating factors and mitigating factors including the player’s previously unblemished record, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by two weeks, resulting in a sanction of four weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):

  • URC:  Benetton vs Leinster  – Saturday, March 5
  • Guinness 6 Nations:  Italy vs Scotland – Saturday, March 12
  • Guinness 6 Nations:  Wales vs Italy  – Saturday, March 19
  • URC:  Munster vs Benetton – Friday, March 25

“The player may apply to take part in the coaching intervention programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play. The player has the right of appeal within three working days of the issuing of the full written decision.”

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