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Valetini cops ban for hit that left Adam Beard needing 20 stitches in face

By AAP
Rob Valetini's red card hit on Adam Beard /PA

World Rugby has slapped Wallabies back-rower Rob Valetini with a three-match suspension for his dangerous tackle on Welsh lock Adam Beard.

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But it could have been much worse, with one of the independent disciplinary panel members deeming the offence worthy of a ban of 10-plus matches.

Valetini was sent off just 15 minutes into Australia’s tour-ending 29-28 loss at Principality Stadium last Saturday after crashing head-to-head into Beard, who failed his subsequent HIA and played no further part in the Test.

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Valetini appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link and accepted the red card was warranted.

The independent disciplinary committee was chaired by England’s Mike Hamlin, with former Irish international Mike Ross and ex-Scotland coach Frank Hadden assisting.

The trio considered all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

Havi ng reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that the offending was reckless and that he ran at speed in an upright position in an attempt to tackle Beard, but exhibited poor technique, resulting in his head striking the right side of Beard’s head.

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Beard needed 20 stitches in the area of his eyebrow.

The committee determined Valetini’s punishment merited a minimum mid-range entry point of six weeks, with one member believing he should have been suspended for at least 10 matches.

On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

Valetini, though, was entitled to a 50 per cent reduction from the entry point and, after accepting there were no aggravating factors, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks.

The No.8 will miss the Brumbies’ Super Rugby Pacific trial matches against the NSW Waratahs on January 29 and the Brumbies’ development team the following week plus their competition opener against Moana Pasifika on February 18.

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But Valetini can opt to complete a Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention course to have his ban reduced to two matches.

That avenue is available to offending players in the hope of modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.

Valetini also has 48 hours to appeal his suspension.

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M
Morne 10 hours ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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