Toulouse lock Jerome Kaino has been banned for five weeks after striking opponent Jamie Roberts with his shoulder during Saturday’s Champions Cup game between Bath and Toulouse.
The New Zealand international collided with Welsh centre Jamie Roberts in the 39th minute of the game, a collision which knocked Roberts out initially.
Roberts was able to continue playing, however, after receiving treatment.
Kaino received a yellow card for the incident from the referee, and took no further part in the game in which Toulouse won 22-20.
He is now suspended until December 3 and will miss key games for the French side, including a Champions Cup game against holders Leinster this Saturday.
Back-row Kaino pleaded not guilty when appearing before an independent disciplinary hearing in Paris on Wednesday, after being cited by match commissioner Eugene Ryan. His decision to plead not guilty was one of the factors which led to a longer ban.
Initially the ban for the lock was due to be six weeks, in the absence of a guilty plea. However, the New Zealander’s good behaviour at the trial led the European Professional Club Rugby’s committee to reduce the ban to five weeks.
Thirty five-year-old Kaino joined Toulouse in February this year, following an 81-cap All Black’s career.
European Professional Club Rugby released a statement on Kaino’s ban, reading: “The committee upheld the citing complaint as it determined that Kaino had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.
“On the basis that the incident involved contact to the head, the committee was obliged under World Rugby regulations to find that the offence was at least the mid-range of the sanctions, and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
“In the absence of a guilty plea, but in consideration of the player’s good conduct at the hearing, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before improving a five-week suspension.”
It's safe to say, the ban has annoyed and baffled rugby fans.News Now - Sport News