Jared Payne handed two-week ban
April 9, 2014
Jared Payne was shown a red card for this incident © Getty Images
Ulster fullback Jared Payne has been hit with a two-week ban following the red card he was shown in Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final.
Payne was dismissed in the fourth minute after he caught Alex Goode while he was midair catching a ball. Goode fell awkwardly and was stretchered off and despite Ulster's protestations, referee Jerome Garces issued Payne with a straight red card.
He appeared in front of a European Rugby Cup Ltd panel and the independent judicial officer Simon Thomas handed Payne a three-week ban but this was reduced to two on account of his "clean disciplinary record and exemplary conduct at the hearing".
The incident was described as a "reckless act" but Thomas admitted it was a tough case to call. The ERC statement said: "He [Thomas] commented that the case had been a particularly challenging one and conveyed his thanks to the Ulster Rugby representatives for the quality of their defence during the hearing."
Payne is free to play on April 21.
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