Three-week ban for Tonga’s Ngauamo

Date published: October 12 2015

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Tonga hooker Paula Ngauamo has been suspended for three weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10.4(j), it was confirmed on Monday.

Following a review of all camera angles, Ngauamo was cited by independent Citing Commissioner Mike Rafter (England) under Law 10.4(j) for a 'tip tackle' in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C match against New Zealand at St. James' Park on 9 October.

Ngauamo admitted committing an act of foul play.

Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Chris Smith of Lewis Silkin, the Judicial Officer Terry Willis (Australia) upheld the citing on the basis that the player had committed an act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(j).

In their Memorandum on "Dangerous tackles" dated 8 June, 2009 the IRB Referee Manager and IRB Judicial Panel Chairman highlighted that "tackles involving a player being lifted off the ground and tipped horizontally and were then either forced or dropped to the ground" must be dealt with severely by match officials and all those involved in the disciplinary process."

With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of four weeks. The Judicial Officer added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play. However, taking into account mitigating factors including his conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clean disciplinary record, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of three weeks which he will serve at his club Mont-de-Marsan in France.

The suspension takes effect immediately and will run up to and include 30 October, 2015. He is free to resume playing on 31 October, 2015.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from receipt of the written decision.

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