3 May 2015

Lowe escapes sanction after three yellow cards

3:19 pm on 3 May 2015

The Chiefs winger James Lowe has escaped sanction from the Super Rugby judiciary after he was awarded three yeallow cards in the 2015 season.

SANZAR rules require a hearing for players who have received three yellow cards to determine whether any further penalty should be imposed for persistent foul play.

James Lowe is yellow carded by referee Mike Fraser in February, 2015

James Lowe is yellow carded by referee Mike Fraser in February, 2015 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Lowe was sin-binned for the third time this season during the Chiefs' one point loss to the Rebels in Melbourne.

The referee Andrew Lees deemed Lowe to have deliberately kicked the Rebel Tamati Ellison who appeared to pulling the Chiefs player's jersey and holding him back from rejoining play after a ruck.

Lowe received his punishment from Lees with no protest.

His first yellow card of the year was issued for taking a player out in the air during the Chiefs' third round win over the Crusaders in Hamilton.

He was controversially awarded the second a week later in Dunedin for a dangerous tackle on the Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa.

The All Black was upended and fell awkwardly on his neck and shoulder although television commentators felt it didn't appear as though Fekitoa was deliberately tipped by Lowe.

The commentator Justin Marshall suggested Fekitoa was flipped as a result of jumping into Lowe's tackle.

The SANZAR Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC heard the case and ruled no further sanction should be imposed against Lowe for persistent foul play.

Davidson said, "the second yellow card was effectively, but not formally, set aside by the review conducted by the SANZAR Referee Performance Management Team, and supported by the World Rugby Referee Selection Committee."

"They considered that this tackle was legitimate and the yellow card was wrongly issued."

"Lowe has in substance committed two yellow card offences. He did not therefore come up for possible sanction," said Davidson.