Ausetalia Vaiomanu


Referees in England
Feb 4, 2007
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Ausetalia Vaiomanu has had his suspension for referee abuse increased from 2 weeks to 32 weeks on appeal by the IRB. Has anyone seen the vdeo?
IRB appeal of disciplinary hearing upheld
(IRB.COM) Friday 21 March 2014

IRB appeal of disciplinary hearing upheld
IRB appealed the original sanction

An independent appeal officer has upheld an appeal by the International Rugby Board of the sanction applied to a player found to have physically abused a match official during a match in the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup in Australia recently.

Following the match between Argentina Pampas XV and Samoa A, which took place in Canberra, Australia, on March 11, Samoa A player Ausetalia Vaiomanu was cited under Law 10.4 (m) for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, specifically, physical abuse of the referee.

In the first-instance hearing, an independent judicial officer found the player to have committed the cited breach of Law 10.4(m) and imposed a sanction of two weeks. IRB Regulation 17 sets out a mandatory sanctioning regime including a sanction table. The sanction table contains a specific set of sanctions for physical abuse of a match official, with entry points of 24 weeks, 48 weeks and 96+ weeks for low-end, mid-range and top-end offending, respectively.

On review of the decision of the independent judicial officer, published on March 13, it appeared to the IRB that he had misapplied the mandatory sanctioning required by IRB Regulation 17. Accordingly, the IRB lodged an appeal against the sanction on March 14.

The appeal was heard on March 19 by independent appeal officer Terry Willis (Australia) sitting in Sydney. Following a full review of the case, Willis found errors in the reasoning of the independent judicial officer and upheld the IRB’s appeal. Willis was then required to assess the seriousness of the offence, determine the relevant entry point and mitigating factors.

Having considered all of the evidence that was before the independent judicial officer and his findings of fact, Willis determined that the correct section of the IRB sanctioning regime was “physical abuse of match officials” due to the finding that the player deliberately used his shoulder into the back of the match referee. This resulted in a mid-range entry point of 48 weeks.

After considering the mitigating factors, including the player’s unblemished disciplinary record and his remorse, the appeal officer reduced the otherwise applicable entry point sanction from 48 weeks to 32 weeks.

As such, the player is suspended for 32 weeks, effective immediately. He is therefore suspended from all forms of Rugby up to and including October 26, 2014.

A copy of the written appeal decision will be published on in due course.
International Rugby Board | | |


Avid Rugby Lover
Jun 26, 2011
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I haven't seen the incident but I believe he shouldered the ref in the back


Referees in Australia
Nov 20, 2009
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Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I have been no 4 and AR on a couple of these games. I wasn't at this particular game but have spoken to the ARs on this game after the incident. It was very heated all game and there were a few tensions were running high.

Im being careful here not to misrepresent this, but I've spoken to the AR that saw the incident (who is on a national panel) and they thought the player made a deliberate line to get to the referee but it seemed such a surprise that he would do that, that it was hard to assess his intent. The referee caught it in the back and apparently was not sure of the severity or deliberate nature of the act. It was all on video (though I've not seen it).

We were all surprised that it only initially received 2 weeks. Good to see this was upgraded. I'm interested to read the judgment when it's released.