Ulster flanker Rea banned for four weeks after red card


Referee Andrew Brace shows the red card to Matty Rea in the 22-15 loss to Connacht at Kingspan Stadium

Ulster flanker Matty Rea has been suspended for four weeks following his red card in the defeat by Connacht.

Rea was dismissed early in the second half of last Friday’s game after tackling Cian Kelleher in the air.

A disciplinary committee heard Rea accepted his opponent’s head hit the ground as a result of the incident.

The committee concluded an eight-week ban was appropriate but it was reduced by 50% because of mitigating factors.

These included there being no aggravating factors and the player’s clean disciplinary record.

Rea, who will be available to play again on 5 November, was sent-off by referee Andrew Brace under Law 9.17.

It states a player “must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground”.

Rea accepted he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept it warranted a red card.

However, the committee in Edinburgh “concluded the player had committed an act of foul play, that that act of foul play warranted a red card and so the referee’s decision to issue the red card was not wrong”.

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