Ireland Centre Bundee Aki Banned Following Red Card Against Samoa

Banned.

Ireland centre Bundee Aki will miss this weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the All Blacks after he was banned for three-games following his red card against Samoa on Saturday.

The ban means he will also miss the semi-finals and final should Ireland progress. Aki sought to overturn the red card at his hearing but having considered all the angles of the incident, together with evidence from the player and his representatives, the committee upheld the decision of the referee.

The committee considered the High Tackle Sanction Framework and decided the following:

  • There was direct contact of the player’s left shoulder to the ball carrier’s head
  • The Judicial Committee did not accept that there was a low degree of danger
  • Although the tackle occurred quickly, the player’s tackle height was high and it was accepted he did not make a definite attempt to change his height in order to avoid the ball carrier’s head
  • The committee did not accept that there was sufficient evidence of a sudden drop in the ball carrier‘s height
  • The tackle was an attempted dominant tackle, rather than a reactionary tackle, and in any event there was no immediate release as the player wrapped his arms around the Samoa No.10
  • The player was in open space and had a clear line of sight before the contact
  • There are accordingly no clear and obvious mitigating factors