Rugby World Cup: Samoa pair could miss Scotland clash after citings for dangerous tackles

Samoa centre Rey Lee-Lo and hooker Motu Matu’u could miss Monday’s crunch clash with Scotland in Kobe after they were cited for dangerous tackles on Russia full-back Vasily Artemyev last night.

Samoa centre Ray Lee-Lo has been cited, along with hooker Motu Matuu, to have their yellow cards upgraded to reds following dangerous tackles against Russia. Picture: Getty Images

The pair were controversially only sin-binned by Romain Poite for the high tackles, with the French referee deciding there was a mitigating factor to reduce the sanction from a red card after conversation with his television match official.

A World Rugby statement said: “Samoa centre Rey Lee-Lo and hooker Motu Matu’u have been cited for acts of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous high tackle) in Samoa’s Rugby World Cup 2019 match against Russia on 24 September.

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“The players will attend hearings before an independent judicial committee chaired by Wang Shao Ing (Singapore lawyer and former international player), joined by former international players John Langford (Australia) and Olly Kohn (Wales). The hearings will take place in Tokyo on the same date to be agreed with the players and their representatives.”

At today’s Scotland press conference in Kobe, stand-off Finn Russell said: “I saw it. It’s the rules, it’s a yellow card absolute minimum. It’s hard to say, the angles on TV aren’t the same as to what the TMO sees, so it’s hard to make a decision on it.

“Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, the All Blacks are all very physical sides, we’ve played them before. It will be a tough game for us next week and mentally we have to front up for this big shots coming at us. It’s up to us to try impose ourselves in defence especially on the big Samoan teams. They are a very physical team and it should be good fun against them.

“I think it would be a loss for them if those players get banned. Any team that loses players through red cards is a loss, they can’t bring anyone in so they would maybe be a bit thin on numbers for the squad.

“If it was to happen to us it would be a big loss when you’ve git four crucial games so we’ll see what the outcome is. We just need to focus on us and put a good performance in.”

Meanwhile, Australia winger Reece Hodge has been banned for three games after his dangerous tackle on Peceli Yato in their World Cup Pool D win over Fiji at the weekend.

An independent disciplinary committee in Tokyo adjudged Hodge's no-arms challenge on the Fijian flanker to warrant a red card.

It again raises the issue of officials’ performance so far after World Rugby took the strong step of publicly criticising the standard of officiating in the tournament so far.

Hodge will miss the Wallabies’ remaining pool matches against Wales, Uruguay and Georgia, though he does have 48 hours to appeal the ban.

Our Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Castle Water and on Twitter @CastleWaterLtdFollow Duncan Smith in Japan on Twitter @Duncan_Smith