It's all over for Lima
September 24, 2007
Samoa centre Brian Lima's World Cup is over following his dangerous tackle on England star Jonny Wilkinson.
Lima, the only player to feature in five World Cups, has received a three-week suspension after being cited for the tackle during Saturday's Pool A clash in Nantes.
Wilkinson escaped injury and match referee Alan Lewis did not punish Lima during the game, which England won 44-22 to knock Samoa out.
But World Cup judicial officer Professor Lorne Crerar has upheld the complaint lodged by match citing commissioner Steven Hines.
It means 35-year-old Lima will miss Samoa's tournament finale against the USA on Wednesday, with an additional two weeks' punishment also imposed.
Lima is poised to quit international rugby after the World Cup, and although he has 48 hours to appeal the decision, it is improbable a hearing could be convened before Wednesday's game.
Professor Crerar decided Lewis' decision to only award a penalty for the offence was wrong, and he rejected former Bristol back Lima's explanation there was no intention to commit a dangerous tackle.
Crerar added the tackle was ``inherently dangerous,'' and Lima's swinging right arm had connected with ``considerable force'' to Wilkinson's neck and throat area.
Crerar though, also took into account Lima's remorseful stance and the fact he had never previously been sent off or cited.
Samoa will head home after the USA clash, having already seen the current World Cup campaign consigned to being the worst in their history.
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