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Dupont banned for longer than PSDT for air challenge on Kolbe

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Antoine Dupont has been banned for his air hit on Cheslin Kolbe in Marseille – and for a longer period than Pieter Steph du Toit.

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France won the game 30-26 but a red was shown to both Dupont and South African back row Pieter Steph du Toit. The French scrumhalf was red carded by referee Wayne Barnes after he hit Kolbe in the air when contesting a high ball.

Kolbe landed on his head and upper back and was removed for a HIA early in the second half.

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Dupont was charged with “a player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground”.

An Autumn Nations Series statement reads: “The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card.

“Having reviewed all available evidence and considering the submissions made by the player and his representative, the Disciplinary Committee deemed that the player’s act was “reckless” (and not intentional or deliberate).

“Given the player’s offending involved head contact with an opposition player, the Disciplinary Committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play in breach of Law 9.17 resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of an eight-week/match suspension for a breach of Law 9.17.

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“Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s evidence of remorse, contrition, exemplary prior disciplinary record and conduct during the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee reduced the eight-week/match entry point by four weeks/matches, resulting in a sanction of four weeks/matches”.

Dupont will serve at least one week longer of a ban than Du Toit, who will serve just three weeks for his head charge on France centre Jonathan Danty that saw the Frenchman leave the field of play.

The South African’s ban will be reduced to two weeks if he attends a tackling intervention clinic.

The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision.

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