Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Jared Payne handed two-week ban for 'reckless act' against Saracens

The Kiwi is suspended until Ulster’s home clash with Leinster.

ULSTER FULLBACK JARED Payne has been handed a two-week suspension after today’s independent disciplinary hearing.

The suspension arises out of Payne’s red card in the fourth minute of Ulster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final loss to Saracens.

Judicial officer Simon Thomas of Wales said the decision was ‘particularly challenging’ and heard evidence from Payne as well as ERC disciplinary officer Roger O’Connor, Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys and team manager David Millar.

Law 10.4(i) :Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(i) carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: 3 weeks; Mid-Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 12 to 52 weeks.

“In upholding the red card decision,” said today’s ERC statement, “the Judicial Officer determined that Payne had committed a reckless act and concluded that the offence was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three (3) weeks as the appropriate entry point.”

The ban was then reduced to two weeks owing to Payne’s previously clean record and that there were no aggravating factors in his collision with Alex Goode in the air.

Payne will now be suspended for Ulster’s Pro12 meetings with Connacht and Glasgow Warriors in the coming weeks, but will be free to play on April 21.

Ulster’s first fixture following that date will be the penultimate match of the regular Pro12 season against Leinster in Ravenhill on May 2.

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