Jarrad Hoeata given six-week ban

Cardiff Blues lock sidelined until 23 February after red card for dangerous high tackle on Leinster's Rob Kearney

Jarrad Hoeata will miss the remainder of Cardiff Blues’ European Challenge Cup pool matches after the Guinness PRO12 slapped him with a six-week ban.

The former All Blacks lock was red carded for a dangerous high tackle on Leinster full-back Rob Kearney in the first half of Saturday’s 22-13 PRO12 defeat at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

In light of several mitigating factors, including the player’s acceptance of the red card and his conduct at the hearing, the disciplinary committee applied a two-week reduction from the entry point and suspended the player from playing for six weeks.

PRO12 Disciplinary Committee

Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett described the swinging arm offence as “unacceptable” after the match and admitted he would be having words with his enforcer.

At a PRO12 disciplinary hearing, the committee determined the incident in breach of article 10.4 (e) to be at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions, carrying a six-week ban, but that was initially increased by two weeks to act as a deterrent.

But Hoeata’s acceptance of the red card issued by Scottish referee Neil Paterson and his conduct at the hearing gave the committee grounds to apply a two-week reduction from the entry point.

As a result, the player will miss the club’s European Challenge Cup matches with Rovigo and Grenoble and their LV=Cup matches against Wasps and Leicester Tigers, as well as PRO12 clashes at Munster and Benetton Treviso before being free to resume playing from Monday 23 February.

Hoeata is no stranger to the occasional high tackle from his Highlanders days in Super Rugby (pictured above on Blues prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi in February 2014), occasionally escaping punishment for his hard-hitting tackles.

But his poor disciplinary record has followed him to the northern hemisphere, leading to a yellow and red card in his last four league outings.

In 2007, Hoeata was cited for and accepted a one-week ban for a “dangerous charge” on North Harbour full-back George Pisi while playing number 8 for Taranaki.

Pisi, now at Northampton Saints, was hit late at shoulder level and knocked to the ground, with the a disciplinary committee taking the view that the challenge was neither a charge down nor a tackle and fell outside the laws of the game.

In April 2010, while playing for the Chiefs, he was banned for two weeks for punching Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe, apparently in retaliation for an earlier incident in the game.

Hoeata also faced an automatic SANZAR judicial hearing in June 2013 and accepted a one-week ban for “persistent offending” after receiving his third yellow card of the 2013 Super Rugby season for running his hand across the face of Crusaders scrum-half Andy Ellis.

He had also been issued with an an “off-field yellow card” for a dangerous tackle on Crusaders hooker Corey Flynn at a breakdown, which had been missed by the officials.

But Hoeata took to Twitter after the latest incident to apologise to the club’s fans for his actions.

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