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All Blacks captain Sam Cane gets two-match ban for Rugby World Cup final red card

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New Zealand captain Sam Cane was suspended for two matches on Monday for a dangerous tackle which saw him become the first player to be red-carded in a Rugby World Cup final.

The 31-year-old was initially sin-binned for the tackle on South Africa’s Jesse Kriel in the first half of the match which the All Blacks lost to the Springboks in Paris on October 28, but was red-carded after the action was reviewed.

“The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but challenged the Foul Play Review Official’s decision that the act warranted a red card,” World Rugby said in a statement.

An independent Disciplinary Committee of World Rugby found “the degree of danger was high as there was direct and forceful contact with the player’s shoulder to the head of the ball carrier”.

World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in head contact is normally a six-match ban.

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However, “taking all considerations into account, including the player’s exemplary disciplinary record, his early acknowledgement of foul play and his clear remorse, the independent Committee determined mitigation of three matches was appropriate”, the statement added.

The sanction was reduced to two matches subject to Cane’s completion of a coaching intervention programme.

Flanker Cane will miss his first two matches with Japanese club Suntory which he has joined last week for the 2024 season, but could make his debut on December 2 against Urayasu D-Rocks.


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