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Lomani suspended for six weeks

The Super Rugby Pacific Foul Play Review Committee (FPRC) has suspended Swire Shipping Fijian Drua scrumhalf Frank Lomani for six weeks.

Lomani has been found 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.

He has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 26 May 2024.

The incident occurred in the 56th minute of the match between Melbourne Rebels and Fijian Drua, played at AAMI Park in Melbourne on 5 April 2024.

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 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 10 weeks (assessed as Top-End range for intentional and deliberate physical abuse of striking with an elbow to the back of the victim player’s head and causing injury, where the victim player was in an incredibly 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), reducing the suspension from 10 weeks to 6 weeks. The Player is therefore suspended up to and including 26 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.”

Meanwhile, Drua prop Jone Koroiduadua who was also red carded in the same match has been given a 2-week suspension.

Koroiduadua has been found guilty of contravening Law 9.12 – A player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to striking with head.

He has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 27 April 2024.

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

In his finding, 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 submissions, and World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card and found the Player to have contravened Law 9.12.”

“The FPRC deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 6 weeks primarily given that the Player and victim player were “head to head” prior to the incident, and that the Player’s head appears to have made limited contact with the head of the victim player and rather made contact with the chest area of the victim player. There was also no injury to the victim player.”

“The Foul Play Review Committed emphasised that had there been more forceful head contact made, the entry point may well have been higher than low-end.”

“The entry point for the offence is 6 weeks.”

“The Foul Play Review Committee applied a discount of 3 weeks for entering an early guilty plea (and other relevant mitigating factors including the Player’s otherwise unblemished disciplinary record), reducing the suspension from 6 weeks to 3 weeks.

Further, where a matter is determined to be low-end offending, there are off-field mitigating factors, and the sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the level and type of offending involved, a sanction below 50% of the sanction may apply. To that end, the Foul Play Review Committee considered a sanction of 3 weeks would have been wholly disproportionate to the level and type of offending involved, and applied a further reduction of 1 week to the sanction, resulting in a total sanction of 2 weeks.”

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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