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Reds stars get three-week suspensions

DISCIPLINARY UPDATES: Reds duo Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight both received three-week suspensions for foul play in their team’s Super Rugby Pacific defeat to Moana Pasifika last weekend.

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The Super Rugby Pacific Foul Play Review Committee (FPRC) has found McDermott guilty of contravening Law 9.12 – A player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to punching or striking with hand, arm (including stiff-arm tackle), elbow or shoulder.


The incident occurred in the 46th minute of the match between Moana Pasifika and Queensland Reds in Whangarei on April 12.

The FPRC comprising Stephen Hardy (Chairman), Ofisa Tonu’u and Stefan Terblanche assessed the incident.

In his finding, FPRC Chairman Stephen Hardy ruled as follows: “Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and the player’s submissions, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the red card and found the player to have contravened Law 9.12.”

“The entry point for the offence was six weeks [assessed as mid-range for intentional and deliberate physical abuse of striking with arm to the side of the victim player’s head where the victim player was in a vulnerable position with limited ability, if any, to defend himself).

“The player was given a discount for entering an early guilty plea [and other relevant mitigating factors including remorse and prior disciplinary record], reducing the suspension from six weeks to three weeks. The Player is therefore suspended up to and including 4 May 2024.

“In providing the player the sanction, the Foul Play Review Committee emphasised that this sort of incident is not tolerated in any form of the game.”

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Meanwhile, the FPRC has found McReight guilty of contravening 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.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the match.

The same FPRC assessed the incident.

In his finding, FPRC Chairman Hardy ruled as follows: “Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and the player’s submissions, the Foul Play Review Committee [FPRC] upheld the red card and found the player to have contravened Law 9.13.

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“Applying World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, the FPRC assessed the Player’s actions as including direct head contact which was made to the victim player with the player’s shoulder at high speed, with the player’s body position always upright and moving upwards and towards the collision. The FPRC assessed the act as reckless.

“The FPRC was concerned by the ‘upright nature of the tackle’ and determined that it was an ‘always illegal’ act of foul play. In those circumstances mitigation would not apply.

“Even if it was not an ‘always illegal’ act of foul play, there was, in the FPRC’s view, no sudden or significant change in height or direction, a late change in dynamics [or any other relevant mitigating factor set out within the Head Contact Process] to result in mitigation sufficient to downgrade the incident to a yellow card.

“The entry point for the offence was six weeks [assessed as mid-range in line with World Rugby’s mandate and given there were no other factors applicable, in this instance, to increase the entry point]. The player was given a discount for entering an early guilty plea [and other relevant mitigating factors including remorse and prior disciplinary record], reducing the suspension from six weeks to three weeks. The player is therefore suspended up to and including 4 May 2024.

The Player is eligible to apply for the World Rugby “Head Contact Process – Coaching Intervention” process.

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