All Blacks captain Cane gets two-match ban

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  • Post published:November 7, 2023

New Zealand captain Sam Cane has been suspended for two matches following the red card he received in the Rugby World Cup final.

After the play was reviewed, the 31-year-old was given a red card for a tackle on South Africa’s Jesse Kriel in the first half of the match that the All Blacks lost in Paris on October 28.

“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”.

A minimum mid-range entry point for foul play that leads to head contact in World Rugby is usually a six-match ban.

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 punishment was cut down to two games, but Cane had to finish a coaching intervention programme before he could play again.

Cane, a flanker, will miss his first two games with Suntory, a Japanese club he just joined last week for the 2024 season. He might play his first game on December 2 against Urayasu D-Rocks, though.