Tevita Kuridrani will miss the Force’s historic Super Rugby final against the Brumbies after copping a three week ban.
Former Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani will miss the Western Force’s historic Super Rugby qualifying final against the Brumbies after copping a three week ban from SANZAAR.
Kuridrani was yellow carded in the first minute of the Force’s rousing 30-27 win over the Queensland Reds for a tip tackle on Hunter Paisami and returned to play a key role in the comeback victory with some powerful carries and tackles.
But SANZAAR’s foul play review committee decided that Kuridrani’s tackle met the red card threshold and slapped the veteran with a suspension that rules him out of the Super Rugby AU finals series as well as the start of Super Rugby trans-Tasman.
The judiciary “determined that the act of foul play merited a low end entry point of six weeks,” a SANZAAR statement said.
“This was primarily due to the reckless rather than intentional nature of the action which ultimately placed Kuridrani’s opponent in a vulnerable position but which did not cause an injury to the opponent.
“When taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s relatively good judicial record over a long career and the fact the player pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the foul play review committee reduced his suspension to three weeks.”
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While Kuridrani’s power will be missed, the Force have a ready made replacement on hand in All Blacks Rugby World Cup winner Richard Kahui.
Kahui came off the bench and provided the game winning touch with his brave grubber kick through for English flyer Jordan Olowofela to score.
Two Melbourne Rebels stars will also miss the start of Super Rugby trans-Tasman after copping three week bans.
No.8 Isi Naisarani and prop Pone Fa’amausili were both sent off for high shots on Waratahs lock Max Douglas in the niggly 36-25 win over the NSW Waratahs.
Naisarani and Fa’amausili both pleaded guilty to the charges despite Rebels captain Matt To’omua arguing the latter’s was harsh on the night.
Meanwhile, Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos has expressed his delight at the TV ratings for Super Rugby AU, with domestic viewership on Nine up an average of 144 per cent across the season year-on-year.
Those figures do not include those who streamed on Stan Sport.
“We’ve been thrilled with the television audience figures so far and can’t wait to see it build over the next fortnight and into Super Rugby trans-Tasman,” Marinos said.
“The increased exposure has also directly benefited our community game with participation up 16.4 per cent from the same time in 2019, and the seasons are only just beginning around the country.”