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Sanzaar toss out Taniela Tupou citing for dangerous play

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images)

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Reds prop Taniela Tupou is free to play in this weekend’s grudge match with the Waratahs after his two-match ban for dangerous play in the ruck was quashed by Sanzaar’s judicial committee.

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The alleged indiscretion took place in the Reds’ recent loss to the Brumbies, with Tupou clattering into Jahrome Brown at the breakdown while clearing the openside flanker off the ball.

Referee Damon Murphy reviewed the clear-out at the time and found no issues, allowing play to continue.

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The Sanzaar Foul Play Review Committee believed it met the threshold for a red card, however, and it’s understood that a two-week ban was the likely outcome for the ‘foul play’. Following a Wednesday evening hearing, however, the incident has been cleared and no sanction has been imposed on the Wallabies prop.

A statement from the judicial committee chairman, Nigel Hampton, explained the process:

“The Judicial Committee conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles, and submissions from the player, and the Player’s legal representative, Mark Martin QC.”

“The Judicial Committee deemed that the Red Card threshold has not been met and the citing was dismissed.

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“The Judicial Committee found that there was no evidence of direct contact made by the Player’s shoulder with his opponent’s head. In the event there was any contact with the opponent’s neck it was secondary and of insufficient danger to warrant either a Red or Yellow card.”

“The player is therefore free to resume playing.”

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