Heineken Cup
Hala'ufia cops 11-week ban
ESPNscrum Staff
March 1, 2012
London Irish No.8 Chris Hala'ufia storms forward, Northampton Saints v London Irish, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, September 17, 2011
Chris Hala'ufia has been banned for 11 weeks © Getty Images
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London Irish No.8 Chris Hala'ufia has been banned for 11 weeks after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle by an ERC disciplinary panel.

The Tongan back-rower pleaded guilty after being cited for an incident involving fullback Gaetan Germain during the Exiles' Heineken Cup victory over Racing Metro in December.

Mark McParland, the independent judicial officer, adjourned the initial hearing as Hala'ufia was suffering from a broken arm, rendering any disciplinary action arbitrary.

Upon hearing the case, McParland found that the offence warranted a mid-range sanction of six weeks. He took into account Hala'ufia's poor disciplinary record however - he has been banned four times in the last two years and has completed a seven-week sanction for a high tackle this season - and doubled the ban, adding a further two weeks as it was a repeat offence.

Finally, he took into account disciplinary procedures carried out by the Exiles, who imposed a six-week ban of their own, and shaved three weeks off the total. Both parties have the right of appeal, but as it stands Hala'ufia will not be eligible for a return until May 17 - after the end of the regular season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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