Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 March 2015

Heineken Cup: Ban rules Ulster prop Afoa out of semi-final

Ulster's John Afoa was handed a four-week ban after being cited for a dangerous tackle on Munster full-back Felix Jones
Ulster's John Afoa was handed a four-week ban after being cited for a dangerous tackle on Munster full-back Felix Jones
Heineken Cup quarter-final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick: Munsters Felix Jones is upended by John Afoa of Ulster
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thormond Park, Limerick.Ulster fans
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterBanners from the Ulster fans after the gameMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterThe Final ScoreMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan *** Local Caption ***
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterIreland managment team Les Kiss, Declan Kidney and Mick Kearney at todays gameMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan *** Local Caption ***
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterUlster banner in the crowd during the gameMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thormond Park, Limerick.Ulster fans
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thormond Park, Limerick.Ulster fans
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin (left)
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Tom Court
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland -8th April 2012 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comHeineken Cup quarter final Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Ulster's Chris Henry.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Tom Court and Rory Best
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Ian Humphreys
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Ruan Pienaar and Craig Gilroy
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Tom Court
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Stephen Ferris
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 8th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Celebration as Ulster beat Munster at Thomond Park, Stephen Ferris
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterUlster's Stephen Ferris celebrates after the matchMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterMunster's Paul O'Connell tackles Ian Humphreys of Ulster Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan *** Local Caption ***
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterUlster's Paddy Wallace celebrates after the matchMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterMunsters Peter O'Mahony looks dispondentMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Heineken Cup Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Co. Limerick 8/4/2012Munster vs UlsterWorrying times for a Munster fan during the matchMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland -8th April 2012 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comHeineken Cup quarter final Munster v Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick.Ulster's Chris Henry.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thormond Park, Limerick.Ulster fans
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th April 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Heineken Cup quarter-final,Munster v Ulster at Thormond Park, Limerick.Ulster fans
LIMERICK, IRELAND - APRIL 08: Ulster fans celebrate their teams victory during the Heineken Cup quarter final match between Munster and Ulster at Thomond Park on April 8, 2012 in Limerick, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
LIMERICK, IRELAND - APRIL 08: Ulster fans celebrate their teams victory during the Heineken Cup quarter final match between Munster and Ulster at Thomond Park on April 8, 2012 in Limerick, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ulster's Rory Best and coach Brian McLaughlin celebrate
Ulster's Dan Tuohy

Prop John Afoa will miss Ulster's Heineken Cup semi-final against Edinburgh later this month due to suspension.

Tournament organisers announced a four-week ban for the New Zealand international following his appearance before independent judicial officer Jean-Noel Couraud in Dublin today.

Afoa was cited for a dangerous tackle on Munster full-back Felix Jones during the second period of last Sunday's Heineken quarter-final in Limerick.

Couraud heard evidence and submissions from Afoa, who pleaded not guilty to foul play.

Afoa was accompanied at the hearing by Ulster rugby director David Humphreys, team manager David Millar and legal representative Donal Spring.

Couraud upheld the citing complaint and found that Afoa's offence warranted a red card.

Afoa, who has the right of appeal, cannot play again until May 7, nine days after Ulster tackle Edinburgh in Dublin for a place in the May 19 Heineken final against Leinster or Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham.

In a brief statement, Ulster Rugby said it was "disappointed" with the outcome of Afoa's hearing.

"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," the Irish province said.

"John looks forward to returning to play after May 7."

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