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Lions prop cops three-week ban with built-in discount

NEWS: The Lions will be without gargantuan prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye for at least the next two games.

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Ntlabakanye faced a disciplinary hearing after being red-carded in the Lions’ 36-14 United Rugby Championship win over Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway last Saturday.

He was slapped with a three-game suspension – with one of those set to be added to the three-match discount he has already received.

After an act of foul play by Ntlabakanye, referee Craig Evans showed the player a red card in the 15th minute of the game.

He was charged under Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

In the player’s responses to the panel overseeing the disciplinary process – Simon Thomas (Chairman, Wales), Nigel Williams (Wales) and Beth Dickens (Scotland) – he accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, but claimed it had not warranted a red card.

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The Panel found that the incident met the red card threshold, with an entry of mid-range warranting six weeks.

The Player received three weeks (50 percent) mitigation due to his good record, an apology to the player and his fully engaged participation in the disciplinary process which resulted in a three-game suspension.

Should the Player complete the World Rugby coaching intervention programme then the sanction will be reduced by one week.

The games will miss are this week’s URC Round 13 encounter with Ospreys and the Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash with Benetton.

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The potential Challenge Cup quarterfinal and the URC face-off with Leinster on April 20 have been bookmarked as the third match of the ban.

However, it is guaranteed he will partake in the World Rugby intervention programme and have that match ticked off as well.

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