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Bundee Aki suspended for three games after Samoa red card

Bundee Aki will have to watch the rest of the World Cup from the sidelines, after he failed in hi...



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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Bundee Aki Ireland Rugby World Cup 2019