Rebels winger Mitchell banned for one match after Zebo tackle

Citing officer finds offence at the lowest level of scale

Melbourne Rebels’ Lachlan Mitchell tip tackles Simon Zebo of the Lions during the tour match  at AAMI Park in  Melbourne. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Melbourne Rebels’ Lachlan Mitchell tip tackles Simon Zebo of the Lions during the tour match at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 10:04

Melbourne Rebels wing Lachlan Mitchell has received a one-match ban for foul play during yesterday’s game against the British and Irish Lions.

Mitchell was found guilty of lifting Lions wing Simon Zebo during a game the tourists won 35-0.

He was cited under Law 10.4 (j) – lifting a player from the ground and dropping that player into the ground while that player’s feet are still off the ground, such that the player’s upper body comes into contact with the ground.

“I found that the incident was clearly at the lowest level for this offence,” said judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC, in a statement released by the Australian Rugby Union.

“The penalty associated for the lower level breach of Law 10.4 (j) is a suspension of four matches.

“Because of the circumstances and Lachlan Mitchell’s good on-field record, I have determined that the maximum reduction to the sentence of 50 per cent should be applied.

“Further to this, I found that an additional discount to the suspension should be made as I believe a two-match penalty would be disproportionate to the level and type of offence that has occurred.

“As such, I have delivered a sanction of a one-match suspension, which will be fulfilled following the Rebels’ next Super Rugby fixture on July 12th.”