Today Jared Payne was suspended for two weeks for the dangerous challenge he was red carded for against Saracens. Payne was sent off by referee Jerome Garces after just four minutes of the Heineken Cup Quarter Final.
Ulster stayed in the match despite being down to 14 men, and came within points of victory but will no doubt feel aggrieved to have been in that situation in the first place.
Referee Garces has come under harsh criticism for his decision to send off Payne, who along with captain Johann Muller, pleaded that he had his eyes on the ball in an attempt to compete for it.
Payne will faced a disciplinary hearing today, charged with the contravention of Law 10.4(g) and Law 10.4(i). The former is for Dangerous charging or knocking down an opponent with the ball, and the latter for Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.
Opinions have been mixed as to whether it was the correct decision to show red or not. Some say it should be treated like a tip tackle and that he was reckless, while others feel that his eyes were on the ball and Goode simply came off second best in what could be viewed as an unfortunate collision.
Players are however responsible for the well-being of the opposition both when tackling and when contesting a high ball. By not getting off the ground, Payne put Goode (as well as himself) in a dangerous situation, and this is clearly the way Garces viewed it.
You can view highlights from this match, as well as other quarter final highlights, here.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect the outcome of the disciplinary hearing in Dublin, where Payne was earlier suspended for two weeks.
Judicial Officer Simon Thomas (Wales) determined that Payne had committed a reckless act and concluded that the offence was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three weeks as the appropriate entry point.
As there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s clean disciplinary record and his exemplary conduct at the hearing, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of one (1) week and imposed a suspension of two (2) weeks.
He commented that the case had been a particularly challenging one and conveyed his thanks to the Ulster Rugby representatives for the quality of their defence during the hearing.