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Rebels centre Ray Nu'u handed lengthy ban

Wed, 04/05/2022, 1:04 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Melbourne Rebels hosted Moana Pasifika in their first ever match on Australian soil.

Melbourne Rebels centre Ray Nu'u has been suspended for the rest of the Super Rugby Pacific season.

Nu'u was red-carded in the dying moments of their four-point victory over Moana Pasifika for a high shot on former Wallaby Christian Leali'ifano.

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SANZAAR's Judiciary deemed the action to be a mid-range offence, handing the young centre a four-match ban as a result of prior offences.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Toby Mullen, the Judicial Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13," Judicial Committee Chair Stephen Hardy ruled. "With respect to sanction, the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby directive that mandates that any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range entry level.

"Taking into account mitigating factors, including the Player’s remorse, young age, and conduct at the hearing; the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension by two weeks. "The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including 29 May 2022."

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Nu'u was playing his first game back after receiving a three-week ban for a nasty tackle on Force backrower Brynard Stander.

The 24-year-old's absence is a major blow for the club, who will be sweating on the fitness of Wallaby Matt To'omua after he missed last week with a concussion.

Rebels coach Kevin Foote will likely weigh up whether to move To'omua to inside centre after Carter Gordon's breakout game or opt to move Andrew Kellaway to cover the unavailable Nu'u, with the Wallaby filling in at outside centre during his initial suspension.

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