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Aviva Premiership
Chris Hala'ufia hit with five-week ban
ESPN Staff
December 4, 2012
London Irish's Chris Hala'ufia takes on Northampton's Mark Sorenson, London Irish v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, February 26, 2012
London Irish No.8 Chris Hala'ufia has paid a heavy price for his red card against London Welsh on Saturday © Getty Images
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London Irish's Chris Hala'ufia has been hit with a five-week ban after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on London Welsh's Seb Jewell during their Aviva Premiership clash on Saturday.

The Exiles' No.8 was dismissed for the challenge just 10 minutes into his side's 15-9 defeat to their Premiership rivals at the Madejski Stadium. The Tongan forward is banned until January 7 and will miss the Exiles' home-and-away Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures against Gloucester, plus three Premiership matches.

Elsewhere on a busy night for disciplinary judgements, Bath winger Matt Banahan was handed a three-week ban following his sending off for a dangerous tackle on Leicester centre Anthony Allen during their clash at Welford Road. Banahan admitted the offence, and his suspension means he cannot play again until December 24, ruling him out of home and away Amlin Challenge Cup ties against Italian club Calvisano, plus a Premiership appointment with Saracens three days before Christmas.

Leicester back-row forward Brett Deacon, who was dismissed for striking an opponent in the same game, was handed a one-week ban. Deacon also received a one-week suspension following an internal hearing by his club. He misses next Sunday's Heineken Cup group game against Treviso.

Bath hooker Lee Mears joined club-mate Banahan on the sidelines after pleading guilty to a charge of of punching or striking an opponent. Mears was given a two-week ban and is free to play again on December 17. But in better news for Bath, Springboks flanker Francois Louw was cleared of punching or striking against Leicester. He was red carded at the time but is free to line up for Bath in the Amlin Challenge Cup this weekend.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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