Bundee Aki will have to watch the rest of the World Cup from the sidelines, after he failed in his bid to be cleared for Ireland's quarter-final against New Zealand on Saturday.
The Connacht centre has been given 3 game ban, following his red card in last weekend's Pool A win against Samoa.
Aki had sought to have his red card overturned after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Samoa's Ulupano Seuteni in the first half of Ireland's bonus-point win.
He appeared before an independent judicial committee this afternoon, whose findings state the following:
- There was direct contact of the player’s left shoulder to the ball carrier’s head
- The Judicial Committee did not accept that there was a low degree of danger
- Although the tackle occurred quickly, the player’s tackle height was high and it was accepted he did not make a definite attempt to change his height in order to avoid the ball carrier’s head
- The committee did not accept that there was sufficient evidence of a sudden drop in the ball carrier‘s height
- The tackle was an attempted dominant tackle, rather than a reactionary tackle, and in any event there was no immediate release as the player wrapped his arms around the Samoa No.10
- The player was in open space and had a clear line of sight before the contact
- There are accordingly no clear and obvious mitigating factors
The entry-point suspension of six-weeks was reduced by the maximum 50%, owing to Aki's clean disciplinary record.
It means he's been given a three-week ban, equating to three tournament matches, ruling him out of this weekend's quarter-final with the world champions, as well as any further games in the tournament if Ireland advance.
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