Wallabies blindside flanker Dean Mumm will miss his team’s end-of-year tour opener against Wales due to suspension for foul play.
Mumm was cited for striking All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick in the 55th minute of the Wallabies’ 37-10 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland at the weekend.
The 32-year-old seemed to elbow Retallick high, with the All Blacks lock going down, though the movement followed vision where Retallick appeared to hold Mumm back.
The incident was missed by referee Nigel Owens at the time, but the citing commissioner deemed it met the red card threshold in his review of the match.
Mumm pleaded guilty to the charge, which has an entry point of a two-week suspension, but Mumm was offered one week by the SANZAAR judicial officer, due to mitigating circumstances, which he accepted.
Duty Judicial Officer, Robert Stelzner said Mumm had acted instinctively in the incident, after being held back by Retallick in play.
Retallick later left the field due to concussion, though Stelzner said Mumm’s elbow had not prevented him from playing on initially.
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence including submissions from his legal representative, I accepted the player’s admission that he had committed an act of foul play contrary to law 10.4(a),” he said.
“With respect to sanction I deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks.
“Part of the reasoning was that the player acted instinctively in retaliation to his being illegally held back by his opponent upon trying to rejoin play.
“His opponent was behind him when he tried to extricate himself from his opponent’s grip and in that process struck his opponent in the face with his elbow.
“The injury, which his opponent suffered as a result of the incident, did not prevent his opponent from playing on at the time of the incident.
“However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s early plea and his excellent disciplinary record, I reduced the suspension to a period of one week.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika spoke briefly about the citing on Sunday morning, before any of the formal proceedings had taken place.
“I don’t want to talk about it too much,” he told the Australian Rugby Union’s official website.
“He’s [ the commissioner] is not looking at all at the action.
“He’s [Mumm} trying to get away from being held back illegally in the ruck, so we’ll see what happens tonight and after the decisions start to flow, we’ll talk a bit more about it then.”
Mumm will be available for the November 12 Test against Scotland at Murrayfield.
The Wallabies leave for England on Friday, ahead of the five-Test Grand Slam tour, leaving those fans betting on rugby highly anticpant.