Fijian slapped with two-week ban for 'strike'

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:40
Large jone qovu la rochelle 800

NEWS: La Rochelle's Fijian lock Jone Qovu was banned for two weeks for "striking" Gloucester's Richard Hibbard.

The 31-year-old Qovu had been cited for punching the former Welsh international hooker in the gut in the 45th minute of the European Challenge Cup semifinal on Saturday, which Gloucester won 16-14.

Qovu will miss French Top 14 leaders La Rochelle's final two regular season league matches, but will be allowed to return for the play-offs as the unfashionable west coast club aim for their first ever national title.

The play-offs begin on May 19, with Qovu's ban due to run out on May 8 - although Las Rochelle will likely finish in the top two and receive a bye straight into the semifinals that begin on May 26.

He will miss matches against Montpellier and Clermont, La Rochelle's nearest two challengers and the only teams that can deny them a top two finish.

Agence France-Presse

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
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Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4