Matthew Rea of Ulster Rugby faced a Disciplinary Hearing today and has been banned as a result.
The player was shown a red card by referee Andrew Brace under Law 9.17 – A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.
The incident occurred in the 41st minute of the Guinness PRO14 Round 6 fixture at Kingspan Stadium (Belfast) when the referee deemed the player to have committed an act of foul play against an opponent (No 23, Cian Kelleher).
The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card.
The Disciplinary Committee, comprising of Pamela Woodman (Chair), Kathrine Mackie and Ian Douglas (all Scotland), concluded that the player had committed an act of foul play, that that act of foul play warranted a red card and so the referee’s decision to issue the red card was not wrong.
The player had accepted that his opponent’s head had hit the ground as a consequence of the incident. In determining entry point, the Committee took into account the direction from World Rugby that “any act of foul play which results in contact with the head shall result in at least a mid-range sanction” and concluded that a mid-range entry point (of eight weeks) was appropriate.
The Committee took into account that there were no aggravating factors, the player’s clean disciplinary record and other mitigating factors and applied full mitigation of 50 per cent, meaning that the player is free to play on Monday, November 5, 2018.
He has been banned for four weeks.
The player was reminded of his right to appeal.
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