THE IRB HAS banned Australia centre Tevita Kuridrani for five weeks as a result of the tip tackle on Peter O’Mahony during the Wallabies’ 32-15 win over Ireland.
The Brumbies’ powerful midfielder will now miss the forthcoming November Tests against Scotland and Wales, further adding to Ewen McKenzie’s woes after he suspended six of his own players for consuming ‘inappropriate’ levels of alcohol on a night out in the build-up to the Ireland game.
It is no surprise to see Kuridrani copping a suspension from the IRB, given how dangerous his tackle on O’Mahony was. The citing came under under Law 10.4 (j) of the game, which says:
Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.”
Kuridrani appeared before the IRB’s judicial officer, Professor Lorne Crerar, in London today, where notice of the suspension was confirmed.
Crerar, having listened to detailed representations by and on behalf of Kuridrani, and having viewed the TV footage of the incident and considered all the other evidence, upheld the red card decision and found that the tackle should be categorised in the mid-range of the IRB’s entry point sanctions (8 weeks).
Crerar added a further week to reflect the need for a deterrent for the type of tackle but allowed mitigation of four weeks to reflect the player’s previous good disciplinary record and other mitigating factors.
With the suspension taking into account the centre’s future playing schedule, Kuridrani is free to return to action on the 17th of February, 2014.