Connacht pair get three-game bans for red cards against Munster

Abraham Papali’i and Shane Delahunt have been suspended for their foul play.

CONNACHT PAIR SHANE Delahunt and Abraham Papali’i have been handed three-game suspensions for their red card offences in the Guinness Pro14 clash with Munster last month.

Number eight Papali’i was sent off by referee Frank Murphy for a high tackle on Conor Murray, while hooker Delahunt saw red for leading with his elbow/forearm into the tackle of CJ Stander.

Both Connacht men accepted that their actions had warranted red cards for foul play.

abraham-papalii-red-carded-by-referee-frank-murphy Papali'i was sent off in the first half of his Connacht debut. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Delahunt’s red card came under Law 9.11 – “A player must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others” – and his was deemed to be a mid-range offence, carrying a six-week suspension.

That was reduced by 50% owing to Delahunt’s “previous clean disciplinary record, early acceptance of the red card, cooperation with procedure and remorse shown.”

Papali’i was deemed to have broken Law 9.13 – “A Player(s) must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”

His was also judged to be a mid-range offence, which means a six-week suspension. However, the back row’s “previous clean disciplinary record and cooperation with procedure warranted application of maximum (50%) mitigation.”

The Guinness Pro14 says that both players’ bans will “span over the course of three meaningful games.”

The fixtures for the new 2020/21 season of the Pro14, which is due to get underway in three weekends’ time, have not yet been announced.

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But Delahunt and Papali’i will not be able to serve a portion of their suspensions when Connacht face Munster in two ‘A’ games over the coming weekends, even though it is expected that both provinces will use those matches to give senior players game time.

Instead, Delahunt and Papali’i's bans will begin when the new 2020/21 campaign gets underway in early October.

Meanwhile, the IRFU has confirmed that the latest round of PCR testing for Covid-19 in Leinster and Ulster has returned zero positive tests.

As such, both provinces can proceed as planned with their Champions Cup quarter-finals this weekend. 

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