Two-week ban ends Pulu's NPC season
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Blues and Counties Manukau scrumhalf Augustine Pulu has been suspended for two weeks after receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle in his team’s National Provincial Cup match against Manawatu on Thursday, October 5.
The Samoan was red carded for a dangerous tackle (law 10.4e) in the 75th minute of the match. Counties Manukau won the fixture 29-24.
A hearing was convened before New Zealand Rugby Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC on Saturday, October 7.
Hampton said the tackle initially made contact with the chest of the opponent, then rose onto the neck, making it a low-end offence with a starting sanction of a two-week suspension.
Hampton found an aggravating factor to be that Pulu had been suspended for a similar offence in 2016, suggesting a reckless approach to some aspects of Pulu’s tackling technique. One week was added to the entry-level sanction.
Pulu did show remorse for his action, immediately apologised to the opposing player and Hampton noted it was the first red card he had received in his career, and therefore reduced the suspension to two weeks.
Pulu’s suspension includes all rugby and means he will miss Counties Manukau’s final round robin match against Tasman (October 14) and any matches he is scheduled to play in up to and including October 21.