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Heineken Cup
Afoa to miss Heineken Cup semi-final
ESPNscrum Staff
April 12, 2012
Ulster prop John Afoa tackles Munster's Felix Jones, Munster v Ulster, Heineken Cup, Thomond Park, Limerick, Ireland, April 8, 2012
John Afoa will miss four weeks for the tackle on Felix Jones © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: John Afoa
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Teams: New Zealand | Ulster

Ulster will be without star All Blacks prop John Afoa for their Heineken Cup semi-final after the tight-head was handed a four-week ban.

Afoa was cited for a dangerous tackle on Munster's Felix Jones during their Heineken Cup quarter-finals clash at Thomond Park and the ERC disciplinary committee have deemed the offence to have warranted a red card. Afoa will therefore miss their semi-final showdown with Edinburgh on April 28 and the RaboDirect PRO12 season run in.

Afoa was deemed to have violated Law 10.4 (j) which covers "Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground".

The ERC's statement read: "The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint and found that the offence warranted a red card, and employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(j), he determined that the offence was at the mid-range entry point of six weeks. "In reference to the IRB's directive on this pattern of offending (tip tackles), he then added a further one week as a deterrent.

"Having then considered the mitigating factors, including the player's clean record, good character, age and experience, the Judicial Officer allowed a reduction of three weeks, before imposing a suspension of four weeks.

"Afoa will be free to play on May 7. Both the player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision."

Ulster have responded to the decision saying: "Ulster Rugby is disappointed with the outcome, and John Afoa himself is very disappointed, particularly in view of his outstanding disciplinary record where he has never previously received a yellow or red card during his professional career. John looks forward to returning to play after 7th May."

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