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    Hurricanes suffer blow as Fifita banned until semis

    2019-06-04 11:28

    Cape Town - A SANZAAR Judicial Committee hearing has found Hurricanes forward Vaea Fifita guilty of contravening Law: 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously, after he was issued with a red card against the Sharks last Saturday.

    Fifita has been suspended for three weeks, up to and including Saturday, June 22.

    The incident occurred in the 75th minute of the match at Kings Park.

    The SANZAAR Judicial Hearing held via video conference on Tuesday and was heard by Helen Morgan (chairperson), John Langford, De Wet Barry.

    In her finding, Morgan ruled the following: 

    "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, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the red card under Law 9.13."  

    "With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. Taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's clean judicial record, his acceptance of foul play and his expressed remorse, the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks."

    As a result of the ban, Fifita will miss Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Ellis Park (15:05).

    Fifita, 26, who has nine All Blacks Test caps, will also be sidelined for the all-New Zealand derby against the Blues the weekend thereafter (June 15 at 09:35 SA time) in Wellington.

    The Hurricanes will in all likelihood host a quarter-final in Wellington on the weekend of June 21/22 - which Fifita will also sit out.

    He will however be free to be selected for the semi-finals the weekend thereafter (June 28/29) - should the 2016 champions progress that far.

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