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Zebre's Fijian comes off worst

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Zebre's Fijian comes off worst on a busy European disciplinary hearing day

European disciplinary officials’ busy Wednesday resulted in suspensions for two players and the dismissal of a citing complaint against one other. 

Three players – Edinburgh’s Nick Haining, Cardiff’s Harri Millard and Zebre’s Apisai Tauyavuca  – were cited for allegedly striking opponents in last weekend’s opening round of the Challenge Cup.

Haining was cited for striking Agen out-half Thomas Vincent with his head in the 33rd minute of last Friday’s encounter at Stade Armandie on Friday. 

He was suspended for two weeks after the disciplinary committee of Simon Thomas (Wales), Mitchell Read (England) and Donal Courtney (Ireland) deemed the incident an act of foul play that warranted a red card.

There were no aggravating factors and due to the player’s guilty plea and clear disciplinary record, the committee the initial four-week sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent before imposing a two-week suspension. 

(Continue reading below…)

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Millard was cited for allegedly striking Calvisano full-back Kayle Van Zyl with his foot in the 46th minute of Cardiff’s game in Italy last Saturday. However, Sam Hillas (England), Courtney (Ireland) and Yannick Jauzion (France) adjudicated that the alleged act of foul play was, in fact, accidental and the complaint was dismissed.

Not so fortunate was Zebre’s Tauyavuca who was asked to account for striking Bristol replacement Andy Uren with his leg in the 81st minute of their game in England last Saturday. The committee of Thomas (Wales), Read (England) and Courtney (Ireland) upheld the citing complaint as it warranted a red card. 

After eight weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point, the committee found that the sanction could only be reduced by three weeks by way of mitigation as there were no aggravating factors and the player did not accept the citing complaint. Banned for five weeks, Tauyavuca won’t be free to play until December 23.

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Zebre's Fijian comes off worst on a busy European disciplinary hearing day