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Extra pressure as Force lose prop due to ban

DISCIPLINARY NEWS: Western Force prop Marley Pearce has been suspended for four weeks following their 14-44 defeat to Hurricanes in the opening round of the Super Rugby Pacific.

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Pearce was handed a yellow card by referee Damon Murphy in the 51st minute for a dangerous tackle on Jordie Barrett during the match in Perth.

The former Junior Wallaby appeared to break his nose in the contact.

The SANZAAR Citing Commissioner has added to his woes as they deemed that the tackle warranted a red card.

The prop was cited and found guilty of contravening Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously

Pearce has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including March 23.

In his finding, the Foul Play Review Committee Chairperson Stephen Hardy ruled as follows:

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“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Michael Tudori, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the citing under Law 9.13.”

“Following the World Rugby Head Contact Process, the FPRC assessed the Player’s actions as including direct head contact, at high speed, in dynamic play with the player leading with his head and colliding with a high degree of force, and his body position moving up and forward into the collision. There was no mitigation identified sufficient to downgrade the offence below a red card.

“The entry point for the offence was six weeks [as it was assessed as mid-range in line with World Rugby’s mandate]. The player was given a discount for an early guilty plea reducing the suspension from six weeks to four weeks. The player is therefore suspended up to and including March 23, 2024.”

It adds further stress on their front-row depth following Harry Hoopert’s knee injury, set to rule him out for the majority of the season.

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Fellow props Angus Wagner (knee) and Siosifa Amore (thumb) will not feature until at least the second half of the season, with Tom Robertson sitting out as he takes a sabbatical and recovers from an ACL injury.

*Additional source: @rugbycomau

 

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