Ireland lose Quinlan Pumas match

Ireland’s Alan Quinlan is set to miss Saturday’s Test against Argentina, a match that could have a huge bearing on his country’s 2011 World Cup campaign, after receiving a three-week ban on Wednesday for stamping.

Quinlan was cited for stamping on New Zealand’s Rodney So’oialo during Ireland’s 22-3 defeat against the All Blacks at Croke Park last Saturday.

Referee Mark Lawrence spotted the incident yet only cautioned Quinlan and allowed a penalty against New Zealand to stand.

But English citing officer Peter Larter decided the incident warranted further investigation and, on Wednesday, International Rugby Board judicial officer Professor Lorne Crerar banned Quinlan for three weeks in a move that effectively said Lawrence had made a mistake in not taking stronger action.

An IRB statement said the Scot had suspended Quinlan for three weeks on the grounds that he ought to have been sent-off for stamping in contravention of Law 10.4 (b) – “a player must not stamp or trample on an opponent”.

Munster loose-forward Quinlan, who is currently free to resume playing on December 7, has the right of appeal.

However, if the 34-year-old is to play against the Pumas he must get his ban overturned between now and Saturday’s kick-off at Croke Park.

A spokesman for Professor Crerar confirmed to AFP that merely lodging an appeal would not in itself be enough for Quinlan to carry on playing while he awaited a final verdict.

An Ireland team spokesman told AFP on Wednesday that no decision had yet been taken on whether Quinlan would appeal.

Quinlan’s citing forced Ireland coach Declan Kidney to put back the announcement of his team by 48 hours to Thursday.

Defeat on Saturday, combined with a Scotland victory over Canada, would see Ireland drop down into ninth in the world rankings.

That would leave them in the third tier of next’s month’s draw in London for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand and put them in a pool with two sides ranked above them.

With only the top two from each pool going through to the knockout stages, Ireland’s hopes of a successful World Cup could be scuppered nearly three years before the tournament starts.

Sapa-AFP –

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