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'Wasn't an extreme act of foul play' but Toomaga-Allen still banned

By Liam Heagney
Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Ex-All Blacks prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen has been banned for three games for striking in Wasps’ Premiership Rugby Cup win over Saracens on Tuesday night. The incident was missed by the officials during the fixture won 40-21 by the home side, but the front-rower was later cited and will now miss two Premiership matches and a Challenge Cup round of 16 game.

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An RFU statement read: “The case of Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen of Wasps was dealt with on papers by a single judicial officer, Charles Cuthbert, on Thursday. Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen accepted the charge of punching or striking, contrary to World Rugby law 9.12 during the match against Saracens on March 29 and received a three-match ban.”

The accompanying written judgment outlined why citing commissioner Jay Curts took exception to the incident at the Coventry Building Society arena. “Wasps No3’s right arm makes direct and forceful contact with Saracens No7’s face, thus the degree of danger is set to high.

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“After reviewing the available footage and taking into account the mitigating and aggravating factors, I have concluded that the actions of Wasps No3 are in breach of law 9.12 and reach the red card threshold.”

In his written evidence about what took place at the contentious maul, Wasps team manager Dave Bassett, giving evidence on behalf of Toomaga-Allen, claimed: “This offending was not intentional, the intention was not to strike Saracens’ No7 in the head…

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“It was not an extreme act of foul play. S7 did not require treatment, continued playing and remains fit and available. The incident was not picked up by any of the match officials. S7 was able to continue with no treatment required, the game was not stopped for the incident although there was a small altercation.”

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Judicial officer Cuthbert determined that a mid-range six-game entry point applied to this offence. However, a series of mitigating factors – including an apology from Toomaga-Allen to Saracens flanker Theo Dan and a statement from Wasps boss Lee Blackett about the prop’s various deeds off the field – resulted in 50 per cent mitigation being applied, reducing the ban to three matches.

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