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Sio Tomkinson cops ban for 'not deliberate' hit on Jack Walsh

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

Dragons back Sio Tomkinson has been banned as a result of a red card given to him during the team’s match against Ospreys on Saturday – although the hit has been branded ‘not deliberate’ by a panel.

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Tomkinson’s shoulder-to-head contact was the worst of three targetted hits on young Ospreys player Jack Walsh, with Lloyd Fairbrother and Ross Moriarty also getting heavily criticised for late contacts on the playmaker.

Despite the Dragons’ best efforts to take down the young No.10, the Ospreys ultimately emerged victorious with an 18-37 derby win. However, the victory was overshadowed by the ugly conduct of the Dragons players towards Walsh.

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Tomkinson received the red card from referee Jaco Peyper under Law 9.13. The player admitted to committing the offence and accepted that a red card was warranted.

It isn’t Tomkinson’s first red either. In 2019 he was sent off for a Super Rugby hit on All Black Brodie Retallick in a game between the Chiefs and the Highlanders.

The disciplinary process was carried out by Judicial Officer Tommy Dalton of Ireland.

Dalton determined that Tomkinson’s actions were reckless but not deliberate, and that the incident met the criteria for a red card. The entry point for the suspension was set at six weeks, but the player was given a three-week reduction due to his good record, remorse, and acceptance of responsibility.

It was also noted that Tomkinson’s suspension could be further reduced by one week if he completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme – AKA tackle school.

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