Ireland suffered another blow ahead of their quarter-final match against Argentina when Sean O'Brien received a one-week suspension for punching France lock Pascal Papé.
O’Brien wasn't punished for the incident early on in Ireland's pool decider against France in Cardiff, but was cited by an independent citing commissioner under Law 10.4 (a) for striking with the hand, arm or fist.
The flanker pleaded guilty, and the judicial officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks.
However, taking into account that there were no aggravating factors and O’Brien’s conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clean disciplinary record, the suspension was reduced to a period of one week.
Taking effect immediately, O’Brien therefore is ruled out of Ireland’s match against Argentina on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Scottish duo Ross Ford and Jonny Gray have each been banned for three weeks for making dangerous tackles contrary to Law 10.4 (j). Both players were cited following their match against Samoa in Newcastle last Sunday, for lifting an opponent and dropping him to the ground, but denied any act of foul play.
Following a detailed evidence review, the judicial officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point, namely four weeks, but added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of foul play.
However, taking into account mitigating factors including the players’ expressions of regret, exemplary characters and excellent disciplinary records, the ban was reduced to a period of three weeks in respect of each player.
Argentina's Marcelo Bosch also copped a week suspension for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10.4 (a). Bosch admitted to committing an act of foul play against Namibia and was handed a one-week ban for his indecretion.
The players have 48 hours in which to appeal from receipt of the written decision.
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