Rugby

Taumalolo hit with 4-week ban

2013-11-19 20:00
Sona Taumalolo (AFP)

London - Tonga prop Sona Taumalolo was banned for four weeks on Tuesday and will miss Friday's Test against Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Taumalolo was sent off for punching France lock Yoann Maestri, also shown a red card for hitting Taumalolo in the same incident, during last weekend's fiery 38-18 win for Les Bleus in Le Havre.

Both players appeared before an independent three-man disciplinary committee in London on Tuesday, but Maestri's red card was deemed a sufficient sanction in itself and there was no additional suspension.

The panel studied video evidence and heard representation from and on behalf of both players before reaching their conclusions, said a statement issued by Autumn International Disciplinary.

"Both players had accepted prior to the hearing that their actions had warranted a red card, and the committee deemed that Sona Taumalolo's offence was in the mid-range of the IRB's (International Rugby Board's) sanctions (five weeks), allowing one week off for mitigating factors," the statement said.

"Sona Taumalolo is free to resume playing on 16 December 2013, and both players have the right of appeal."

Maestri and Taumalolo were sent off in the 42nd minute of the Test in Le Havre on Saturday for fighting and the altercation continued in the tunnel as they made their way to the dressing rooms.

Maestri, who has been capped 19 times, is a key figure in the French pack and an imposing one at 2.01m (6ft 5in) tall and weighing in at 120 kg (nearly 19 stone).



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