Tui sidelined for three weeks

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Lukhan Tui will join Scott Higginbotham on the sideline until round six, handed a three week suspension by the SANZAAR judiciary.

Tui was yellow carded in the Reds' season opening loss to the Reds for a tip tackle on Will Genia, the foul play review committee following referee Brendon Pickerill's lead in charging Tui in accordance to Law 9.18.

That law states "a player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and / or upper body make contact with the ground" and the judicial committee found Tui guilty on that basis.

In his finding, judicial committee chairman Michael Heron QC said the original penalty of six weeks was reduced due to a lack of intent.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Mark Martin QC, the Judicial Committee upheld the citing under Law 9.13," Heron said.

"With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a low end entry point of 6 weeks due to an absence of intention and other contributing factors.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player's excellent disciplinary record and his guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity, the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks.

"The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including the Saturday 17 March 2018."

Tui will be ineligible for Queensland's next three starts but is expected to join Higginbotham in Cape Town, when the Reds face the Stormers in round six.

Kane Douglas is expected to take his spot in the starting XV for the clash against the Brumbies.

The Reds face the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio.