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'Players need to be aware of the sanctions': Leinster not appealing Lowe ban

Leo Cullen admits his side will be under greater scrutiny this week.

LEO CULLEN HAS confirmed Leinster will not be appealing the two-week suspension handed down to James Lowe following his red card against Munster, while admitting his side’s discipline will be under greater scrutiny this weekend. 

Kiwi winger Lowe was sent off for upending an airborne Andrew Conway during last week’s Pro14 defeat to their southern rivals, and will miss tomorrow’s clash against Ulster and the crucial Heineken Champions Cup game against Toulouse on Saturday week.   

Andrew Conway with James Lowe Lowe was sent-off at Thomond Park last weekend. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Lowe — who ‘accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that his actions warranted a red card’ — was cited under Law 9.17 and subsequently handed a two-week ban by a Pro14 disciplinary committee on Thursday.

His dismissal was one of three cards Leinster received during a horribly indisciplined first-half showing in Limerick, as both Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong were sent to the bin by referee Frank Murphy.

“We won’t be appealing the ban at this stage anyway,” Cullen said this afternoon.

“All our players need to be aware of the sanctions and the way these incidents are being refereed and dealt with after the game.

“There are a lot of bits going on in that game. The Munster nine is pushing him off his line, so he starts pushing in field, and the catcher is coming in late and suddenly James is in the landing zone with the Munster player. We’ve to deal with the consequences.

“It is a difficult area for the players, I don’t think there is intent but it is difficult for players. It is good to see Andrew Conway is playing this weekend. Players need to be aware, like high tackles. We got caught badly last weekend with three different incidents, it hasn’t been a trend for us but we need to be aware of that.”

On the issue of discipline, Cullen will look for improvements from his side in Saturday’s round 13 encounter against Ulster at the RDS, which will be refereed by Irish official Andrew Brace.

“Even if you look at penalty count [from last week] it was 14-13,” the head coach continued. “It was a very competitive game, maybe players from both sides trying too hard and pushing boundaries.

It hasn’t been a major issue for us this year but there were areas we weren’t happy with, how we control game, particularly early so we’re not getting ourselves in that situation and we need to be calmer and composed in terms of starting games.

“But we’ve trained well this week and have had better preparation.”

Meanwhile, Gloucester second row Tom Savage will miss his side’s Champions Cup clash against Munster on Friday week after picking up a two-week suspension.

Savage was cited for dangerous play in a ruck during last week’s Premiership game against Sale Sharks, and was handed a ban for making contact with the head of Robert Du Preez. 

He will miss Gloucester’s trip to Leicester on Saturday and Friday’s Pool 2 clash against Johann van Graan’s side at Kingsholm. 

Gavan Casey, Murray Kinsella and Andy Dunne preview the weekend’s action:


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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