Tonga player banned for four matches for high hit on Finn Russell
The Tongan No 8 was given a bunker red card for smashing dangerously into Russell at a ruck near the end of Scotland’s 45-17 win in Nice on Sunday. Fifita’s suspension covers Tonga’s final two Pool B matches, against South Africa and Romania, as well as two games for his club, the Scarlets.
The player attended an independent disciplinary committee on Tuesday. He accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but challenged the Foul Play Review Official’s decision that it warranted a red card. However, the committee decided that, “a reckless act of foul play had occurred; head contact had occurred; the degree of danger was high; the act was always illegal and therefore mitigation was not available”.
The mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in head contact is six matches but the ban was reduced to four games after taking into account, Fifita’s remorse and previous disciplinary record. The player has the right to appeal within 48 hours of the full written decision.
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