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Wallabies duo slapped with bans following red cards

By Josh Raisey
Red cards for Fraser McReight of the Queensland Reds (R) and Tate McDermott of the Queensland Reds (L) during the round eight Super Rugby Pacific match between Moana Pasifika and Queensland Reds at Semenoff Stadium, on April 12, 2024, in Whangarei, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Wallabies and Reds duo Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight have both been banned for three weeks following their red cards against Moana Pasifika on Friday in Super Rugby Pacific.

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The scrum-half was dismissed first in the contest in New Zealand for a wild swinging arm to the head of flanker Irie Papuni while on the floor.

He went before a Super Rugby Foul Play Review Committee charged with contravening Law 9.12 – A player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to punching or striking with hand, arm (including stiff-arm tackle), elbow or shoulder.

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The 29-cap Wallaby was handed a six week ban, which was halved due to his early guilty plea, remorse and prior disciplinary record, which means he will be out until after May 4.

McReight followed McDermott in being dismissed in the Reds’ 17-14 loss. The flanker was shown the red by referee Angus Mabey with eight minutes remaining following a high tackle on fly-half William Havili.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
2
Tries
2
2
Conversions
2
0
Drop Goals
0
98
Carries
131
4
Line Breaks
2
18
Turnovers Lost
18
5
Turnovers Won
8

He was subsequently charged with contravening Law 9.13 – A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The Foul Play Review Committee’s verdict reads: “Even if it was not an “always illegal” act of foul play, there was, in the FPRC’s view, no sudden or significant change in height or direction, a late change in dynamics (or any other relevant mitigating factor set out within the Head Contact Process) to result in mitigation sufficient to downgrade the incident to a yellow card.”

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Like McDermott, McReight was handed a six-week ban which was halved for the same list of mitigating factors.

The pair will now miss fixtures against the Highlanders, the Blues and the Crusaders, although McReight can return a week earlier if he applies for the World Rugby “Head Contact Process – Coaching Intervention” process.

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