Hala'ufia was alleged to have carried out a dangerous tackle on the Racing Metro 92 full back, Gaetan Germain (No 15), during the first half of the match in contravention of Law 10.4(e). The complaint was made by Citing Commissioner, Gordon Black (Ireland).
Hala'ufia suffered a broken arm during the match, and in order to ensure that any possible sanction would have meaningful playing consequences, the initial hearing was adjourned until the player returned from injury.
The independent Judicial Officer, Mark McParland (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Hala'ufia, who pleaded guilty to the complaint, from London Irish Team Manager, Kieran McCarthy, and Forwards Coach, Neal Hatley. He also heard evidence and submissions from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor.
The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint and employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(e), he decided that the offence was at the mid-range entry point of six (6) weeks. Having taken into the account the player's poor disciplinary record, he added six (6) weeks, and in reference to the IRB's directive on this pattern of offending (dangerous tackles), he then added a further two (2) weeks as a deterrent.
Having also considered the player's guilty plea and remorse, the injury he suffered and internal disciplinary action taken by London Irish, the Judicial Officer granted him mitigation of three (3) weeks before imposing a suspension of eleven (11) weeks.
Hala'ufia will be free to play on Thursday, 17 May. Both the player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision.
Law 10.4(e) - Dangerous tackling of an opponent including a tackle or an attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders
Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, Law 10.4(e) carries the following penalties: Low End: 2 weeks; Mid Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 10+ to 52 weeks.
NOTES TO EDITORS
i) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by ERC for all Heineken Cup and all televised Amlin Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted a citing.
b) For such matches Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing. In exceptional circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor may forward the submitted Citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.
e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
ii) Independent Judicial Officer
a) Citing hearings will be heard by an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable. Until the hearing a cited player is eligible to play in ERC tournaments.
b) The independent Judicial Officer is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the player
d) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Hearing. Appeals must be lodged within 3 business days of receiving the full written decision from the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee