Belfast Telegraph

Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune handed two-week suspension

Robert Baloucoune
Robert Baloucoune
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune has been suspended for two weeks for his tackle on Munster's Darren Sweetnam in last week's game at Kingspan Stadium.

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Baloucoune received a yellow card for tackling Sweetnam in the air after just 11 seconds of the interprovincial derby in Belfast, which Ulster would go on to win 19-12.

The 21-year old Academy star would score a try in the victory, however he will now spend the next couple of weeks on the sidelines due to the offence.

The panel, consisting of Robert Milligan QC (Chair), Sheriff Kathrine Mackie and Jennifer Rae (all from Scotland), determined that the offence warranted a red card, rather than the yellow card brandished by referee Sean Gallagher.

The panel concluded that Baloucoune committed an act of foul play in accordance with Law 9.11 – Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others, and Law 9.17 – A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

Baloucoune himself also admitted that the offence should have resulted in a red card.

In handing out their judgement, the panel agreed that the offence should enter at the low-end of the scale (four weeks), with mitigating factors seeing the suspension being reduced.

Baloucoune's admission of guilt and his previously clean record, combined with the co-operation of Ulster and Baloucoune, saw the ban reduced by 50% to two weeks.

It means the winger will miss tomorrow's tie against Connacht and next week's trip to Leinster, however he will be free to return for the Champions Cup clash against Racing 92 in Belfast on January 13.

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