Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Christopher Tolofua cited following red card for tip-tackle against Treviso

Toulouse hooker Christopher Tolofua received a red card and has been cited for a dangerous tackle he made on Treviso's Fabio Semenzato in the Heineken Cup on Saturday. Tolofua made his Test debut for France earlier this year.

The 18 year-old hooker was shown his second yellow card with just five minutes left in the game against Benetton Treviso. As a result, he was sent off by referee Leighton Hodges, and cited by citing commisioner Buster White.

The hearing will take place on Thursday in Dublin. He will not be able to play until the disciplinary process is completed.

The citing falls under Law 10.4 (j) - Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground.

Under the new IRB Sanctions for Foul Play that were introduced this season, the entry point for tip tackles has increased 33 per cent. Therefore a Low End recommended sanction would result in a 4 week suspension, however his clean record could play in his favour.

Toulouse came from behind to win the match 33-21.

UPDATE: Tolofua has been suspended for 6 weeks after pleading guilty to the offence.

An ERC statement read:

"The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint and found that Tolofua had carried out a dangerous tackle on his opponent. Employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(j), he determined that the offence was at the mid-range entry point of eight (8) weeks.

"In line with the current IRB deterrent regarding dangerous tackles, the Judicial Officer added a further two (2) weeks. He then considered Tolofua’s clean disciplinary record, his youth and inexperience and decided in mitigation to reduce the suspension by four (4) weeks – 50 per cent of the eight (8) week entry point – before imposing a suspension of six (6) weeks."

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