Lima suspension ends his career

Samoan hit-man Brian Lima has been banned for three weeks for executing a dangerous tackle on England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, during England’s 44-22 World Cup Pool A win at the weekend.

The ban effectively ends Lima career, as the 36-year-old player has indicated that he will retire after the tournament and Samoa have just one match – against the United States on Wednesday – left in the global showpiece.

Lima was cited for the tackle, his second such vicious hit in the tournament, and appeared at a judicial hearing on Monday.

Judicial officer Lorne Crerar upheld the citing complaint and confirmed that Lima breached Law 10.4(e) and committed a dangerous tackle during the Samoa versus England match at the weekend (on Saturday, 22 September) in Nantes.

The judicial officer determined that the reasons for the referee’s decision in awarding a penalty for the offence were wrong and could not accept the explanation of the player that there was no intention to commit a dangerous tackle.

“The tackle was inherently dangerous and the swinging right arm of Brian Lima connected with considerable force on the neck/throat of the England number 10 Jonny Wilkinson,” the International Rugby Board (IRB) said in a statement.

“The judicial officer accordingly determined it was a deliberate rather than reckless act. In categorising the seriousness of the offence, the judicial officer determined it was mid-range.

“The player is extremely remorseful, has never been sent off or cited before, is of exemplary character and has outstanding references as to his character and role model attributes.

“The judicial officer accordingly discounted the mid-range entry point of six weeks suspension to three weeks. In respect of the Tournament this means that the player will miss the next match against the USA with a two week suspension thereafter.”

Lima has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.

Earlier on Monday the veteran midfielder, Lima, was bracketed at inside centre with Elvis Seveali’i in the Samoan line-up for their final Pool A match – against the United States on Wednesday.

Should Lima not appeal or his appeal fails, Seveali’i will play on Wednesday.


365 Digital

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