WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks prop Angus Ta’avao has been suspended for three weeks after being sent off in the second test against Ireland last weekend for causing a head clash with Ireland center Garry Ringrose.
Ta’avao told a disciplinary tribunal Tuesday that while the contact constituted foul play, it was accidental and the red card he received was not warranted.
The panel comprising Wang Shao-Ing of Singapore, Leon Lloyd of England and Frank Hadden of Scotland rejected Ta’avao’s claim of mitigation and found the incident merited a mid-range suspension of six weeks.
Members of the tribunal took into account Ta’avao’s excellent disciplinary record in deciding to halve the suspension.
While Ta’avao received the only red card in Saturday’s test match at Dunedin, South African referee Jaco Peyper also handed out three yellow cards, two to All Blacks and one to an Ireland player.
England coach Eddie Jones was among leading rugby figures who criticized Ta’avao’s red card, saying his collision with Ringrose clearly was accidental and his sending off was “not in the spirit of the game.”
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