The NSW Waratahs’ early-season woes have deepened with centre Izaia Perese suspended for three matches.
Perese was red-carded during his team’s crushing 41-7 Super Rugby AU defeat by the Queensland Reds in round one on Friday when he upended Reds centre Hunter Paisami in a dangerous tackle.
The SANZAAR foul play review committee on Sunday banned Perese through March 19, meaning he won’t be available to play again until the return match with the Reds in round six at Stadium Australia.
Perese pleaded guilty to his foul play citing and the review committee downgraded his penalty from an initial low-end entry point of six weeks after finding his action was reckless rather than international.
In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC ruled the following:
“In submissions to the hearing, Perese pleaded guilty to the citing under Law 9.18.
With respect to sanction, the Foul Play Review Committee were cognisant of the fact that recent amendments to Appendix 1 of Regulation 17 meant that World Rugby’s directive, that any incident of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or neck shall result in at least a mid-range section, did not apply to a contravention of Law 9.18.
Izaia Perese sent off in his first match for the Waratahs #SuperRugbyAU
— Fox Rugby (@FOXRUGBY) February 19, 2021
The Foul Play Review Committee, having conducted a detailed review of all of the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, determined that the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 6 weeks. This was primarily due to the reckless rather than intentional nature of the action which ultimately placed Perese’s opponent in a vulnerable position but which did not cause an injury to the opponent.
When taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s clean judicial record and the fact the Player pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced his suspension to 3 weeks.”
The Waratahs were also hit by injuries to skipper Jake Gordon and Perese’s fellow centre Joey Walton in the loss to the Reds.
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