14 Oct 2015

Tonga's Ngauamo banned for three weeks

12:34 pm on 14 October 2015

Tonga's Paula Ngauamo has been suspended for three weeks at the Rugby World Cup judiciary for a dangerous tip tackle on All Blacks first five Dan Carter.

The replacement hooker was cited by independent Citing Commissioner Mike Rafter after being sin-binned for the tackle in the 70th minute of Tonga's 47-9 defeat in Newcastle, in which Carter was lifted past the horizontal and dropped to the ground.

Ngauamo admitted committing the act of foul play.

Tonga hooker Paula Ngauamo at the Rugby World Cup.

Tonga hooker Paula Ngauamo at the Rugby World Cup. Photo: AFP

Judicial Officer Terry Willis recommended a four week ban, with a further week to deter other players from committing the offence, but the suspension was reduced to three weeks because of Ngauamo's conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clean disciplinary record.

The 'Ikale Tahi's World Cup campaign has ended after they finished fourth in Group C.

Ngaumo will serve his suspension at club side Mont-de-Marsan in France and is free to play again on October the 31st.

He has 48 hours to appeal.

Tongan coach Mana Otai meanwhile is choosing not to dwell on what what could have been at the World Cup.

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai.

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai. Photo: AFP

He says it's disappointing to have missed out on both the playoffs and automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup but insists there's still plenty of positives to reflect on.

"We always look at silver linings behind every dark cloud. To requalify, that's where we are now - there was never a moment that we were thinking down that track. I thought that there has been a huge improvement from the way we played against Georgia [in the first game] to the way we played the last two tier one nations. We showed glimpses of how good we can be, it's just there's a few little bits in the middle there. Fitness is an area [we can improve on] and of course the pressure it's a whole new level for these guys playing against these guys. I don't think we have gone downhill, I thought we have improved every game".

Pacific neighbours Fiji and Samoa also missed out on automatic qualification for the next World Cup.