Toulon second rower Romain Taofifenua has been suspended for three weeks following an Independant Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin today. He was cited for making contact with the head of Ulster centre Stuart Olding in the Round 2 Champions Cup match.
The France capped lock could be seen competing for the ball at a ruck, and by swinging his foot forward in what appeared to be an attempt to kick it loose, he kicked Olding in the head, resulting in the centre needing medical attention.
Taofifenua was cited by match Citing Commissioner Peter Larter of England for contravening Law 10.4 (c), Kicking an opponent. A player must not kick an opponent.
The IRB Sanctions for Foul Play state that this offence carries the following entry points – Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-Range: 8 weeks; Top End: 12+ to 52 weeks.
Independant Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan, heard evidence from the offender, his club’s legal representative and from the tournament Disciplinary Officer. He determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card.
He did say however that it was at the low end of the table (4 weeks), and reduced the suspension by one week due to Taofifenua’s good conduct during the hearing. He is free to play again on Monday 17 November 2014, but has the right to appeal the decision.
Do you think 3 weeks is a bit harsh, or a fair punishment for such reckless play?