Hala’ufia hit with five-week ban


Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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London Welsh number eight Chris Hala’ufia has been suspended for five weeks after pleading guilty to striking an opponent.

The 36-year-old was dismissed during Welsh’s 38-17 Aviva Premiership defeat by Leicester at Welford Road on April 25 after hitting opposite number Laurence Pearce while he was laid prone on the turf.

Hala’ufia was sent off after the incident, which followed a high hit on Pearce, who had scored two tries for the Tigers.

Hala’ufia faced an independent panel chaired by Anthony Davies at London’s Bloomsbury Holiday Inn on Wednesday where he was banned for five weeks.

The sanction imposed on the Tongan will encompass the remaining two rounds of the Aviva Premiership and the start of the 2015-16 season.

It is not the first time the 25-cap back-rower’s raw aggression has spilled over into disciplinary action.

While with London Irish, a four-week ban for striking Leinster’s Leo Cullen in January 2010 marked his card, before he received a three-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Wasps’ Dave Walder three months later.

A dangerous charge on Northampton’s Shane Geraghty brought an eight-week lay-off in February 2011, before he was hit with a seven-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Gloucester’s Olly Morgan in October of the same year.

Then a dangerous challenge on Racing Metro full-back Gaetan Germain in December 2011 yielded an 11-week ban, eventually imposed in March 2012.

Hala’ufia broke his own forearm tackling Germain during the Exiles’ 34-14 Heineken Cup win over Racing in Paris in December 2011, with the disciplinary hearing delayed until he had recovered.

London Irish imposed an internal six-week suspension and fine on that occasion, with money donated to charity, but those efforts did little to ease the eventual ban.

Hala’ufia was hit with a four-week suspension for a tip tackle on Sale’s David Seymour in December 2013, with the ban after the Pearce incident the latest on his rap sheet.

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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