Toni Pulu suspended for three weeks after red card

Tue, 04/05/2021, 01:15 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Toni Pulu is sent off for a high shot. Photo: Getty Images

Western Force winger Toni Pulu has been handed a three-match ban for his high tackle on Brumbies centre Irae Simone during the Qualifying Final.

Pulu was sent off in the 40th minute of the Force's 21-9 loss to the Brumbies, ruled to have made direct contact with the head of Simone.

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The incident was a turning point in the match, with Brumbies fullback Tom Banks immediately crossing in the corner.

Toni Pulu sees red for a tackle on Irae Simone.

After the incident was referred to SANZAAR's Foul Play Committee, Pulu's incident was deemed as mid-range, with an early guilty plea and a clean record reducing the suspension to three weeks.

"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, Michael Tudori, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13," Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC said in a statement.

"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's good judicial record and pleading guilty at his first available opportunity the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks."

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Pulu will miss the Force's opening two Trans-Tasman games against the Chiefs and Highlanders.

He joins centre Tevita Kuridrani on the sidelines, who was suspended last week after his lifting tackle on Hunter Paisami.

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