Lukhan Salakaia-Loto suspended for four weeks

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was red-carded in the 60th minute
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was red-carded in the 60th minute

Australia lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has been handed a four-week ban following his red-card incident in the recently concluded Rugby Championship game against Argentina.

The 24-year-old came off the bench in the 50th minute but was sent off 10 minutes later by referee Angus Gardner for striking the head of Argentina's flanker Santiago Grondona.

Despite the setback, Australia managed to draw the game 16-16 following Michael Hooper's try in the 67th minute resulting in New Zealand winning the tri-nations tournament.

SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee chairman Adam Casselden SC said the action of Salakaia-Loto warranted mid-range sanction and was initially handed a six-week ban that was reduced by two weeks following the mitigating factors.

“The act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact the player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to four weeks.

“The player was not entitled to a full 50% reduction due to the presence of a prior offence on his record. The player is therefore suspended for four weeks, up to and including Friday 26 February 2021.”