LONDON, 2 Oct – Tevita Mailau (Tonga) has been suspended for two weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10.4(e).
Following a review of broadcast footage, Mailau was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Freek Burger (South Africa) under Law 10.4(e) for a dangerous tackle in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C match against Namibia at Sandy Park, on 29 September.
Mailau denied the act of foul play.
Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles, testimony and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Chris Smith of Lewis Silkin, the Judicial Officer Sheriff Kathrine Mackie (Scotland) upheld the citing on the basis that the player had committed the act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(e).
With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed that the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks. Due to the need to deter such acts of foul play, the Judicial Officer added an additional period of one week to the suspension, noting the World Rugby Memorandum dated 22 May, 2015 relating to dangerous tackles. However, taking into account factors including the player’s excellent disciplinary record, the Judicial Officer gave the player the maximum mitigation and reduced the suspension to a period of two weeks (which equates to two matches in the tournament).
The suspension takes effect immediately and will run up to and include 9 October, 2015. He is free to resume playing on 10 October, 2015. The effect is that he is suspended for Tonga’s matches against Argentina on 4 October and New Zealand on 9 October.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from receipt of the written decision.