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'No mitigation can be applied': Albert Tuisue cops yet another ban

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Albert Tuisue has been banned for the second time in recent months, the Fijian back-rower following up his Test duty red card in November with a two-game ban after the receipt of three Gallagher Premiership yellow cards this season while playing for Gloucester.

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The forward was banned for four matches after he was red-carded by French referee Mathieu Raynal following his second-half November 12 collision with Joey Carbery in Dublin. That disciplinary hearing summary reported that “the player denied he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card, but admitted that the act was worthy of at most a yellow card”.

Now, a sequence of yellow cards in the English league has come to haunt Tuisue as he will be absent for the upcoming Gloucester games versus Saracens in the Premiership this Friday and the following weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup game against Leinster.

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An RFU statement read: “The case of Albert Tuisue, Gloucester Rugby, was heard on Wednesday, January 4, by a single judicial officer, Sam Hillas. Tuisue has received three foul play yellow cards during the course of the current season, most recently on December 31 in the game against London Irish. He received a two-week ban.”

The written verdict issued by the RFU detailed the referee reports on the three yellow cards that Tuisue picked up with Gloucester, the first coming in the October 8 game versus Bath. “Gloucester No8 made no attempt to wrap his arms and hit Bath No6 without the ball. I saw the incident live but in dialogue with the TMO as play was continuing, we deemed the incident to meet the threshold for a yellow card.”

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It was October 28 versus Exeter when Tuisue picked up his second Gloucester card. “Exeter formed a maul just inside Gloucester 22. The maul traveled at pace to the five-metre line where it was deliberately collapsed by Gloucester 20. Yellow card issued.”

Regarding last weekend’s third yellow for Gloucester, the referee’s report on Tuisue commented: “At a break in play the TMO brought an incident of foul play to my attention. Once on the screen, I observed that Gloucester No20 had made head contact with his shoulder to the head of London Irish No13.

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“He was at fault due to being upright. Whilst there was head contact, the majority of the force was through the chest and therefore I observed that the tackle wasn’t of high danger. A yellow card was issued as per the head contact protocol.”

In the subsequent summary, judicial officer Hillas said: “No mitigation can be applied to reduce the entry point of one week. The player has two previous red cards on his record. The first was from September 2019 (RFU) which resulted in a three-week ban for dangerous tackling.

“The second red was in November 2022 (WR) which was also for a dangerous tackle and resulted in a four-week suspension (following which he completed the WR coaching intervention programme). As a result of the player’s record, one week was added to the entry point as an aggravating feature. The final sanction to be applied is two weeks.”

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Jon 8 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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