Sunday 22 October 2017

Tom Court hit with two-week ban for tip tackle

Leinster's Devin Toner is tackled by Tom Court, resulting in a red card for the Ulster player. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster's Devin Toner is tackled by Tom Court, resulting in a red card for the Ulster player. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
David Kelly

David Kelly

Tom Court may have played his last game for Ulster unless his side reach the Pro12 final – after being hit with a two-week ban which will rule him out of a likely semi-final away to Leinster.

The London Irish-bound Court appeared before an independent Pro12 Disciplinary Committee in Neath, south Wales, having been dismissed for a "tip tackle" on Devin Toner in last Friday's match against Leinster at Ravenhill.

The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Simon Thomas, alongside Terry Vaux and Robert Williams (all from Wales), viewed the footage of the incident and listened to representations by, and on behalf of, the player via video-link.

The committee decided that the offence, a dangerous "lifting" tackle contrary to Law 10.4(j), was at the low end of the IRB's scale of sanctions for this type of offence which would have resulted in a four-week ban.

The committee added an extra week to the suspension as a deterrent, but then reduced the sanction by three weeks to reflect, among other factors, the player's acceptance of the red card and his previous excellent disciplinary record.

Court is therefore suspended for two weeks – i.e. until midnight on Sunday, May 18. The Australian-born prop won a Grand Slam with Ireland in 2009.

Irish Independent

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