Aussie skipper banned over ‘disgusting’ bite
Australian women's Test rugby captain Liz Patu will miss the rest of the Super W season, after getting a six week suspension after pleading guilty to biting fellow Wallaroos forward Rebecca Clough last Saturday.
Patu has 48 hours to appeal, but after Monday's independent disciplinary panel in Brisbane, she expressed remorse and described her actions as unacceptable.
She is the first Super W player to be handed a sanction since the competition's inception last year.
The act was slammed by Wallabies great Drew Mitchell who was appalled at what he had seen unfold.
"That's pretty damning from that vision we've just seen," Mitchell said in Fox Sports' commentary.
"I think we will hear more and we should.
"That is disgusting and it's not a part of our game, especially from an Australian representative and a captain at that."
The entry point for a biting offence carries a 12-week suspension. However Patu received the full 50 per cent reduction available under World Rugby regulations due to mitigating factors and her previous good character and clean disciplinary record.
Biting controversy hits women’s rugby. How many weeks for this chomp? pic.twitter.com/tljFQVFqDi— Adam Hawse (@AdamHawse) 3 March 2019
Queensland prop Patu bit Rugby WA lock Clough on the arm in the 70th minute of the game in Brisbane.
Clough complained to referee Lara West, pointing to what she said was a bite mark.
West didn't have television footage available to verify the cause of the mark but Rugby Australia cited Patu.
"I'd like to express my remorse for my actions in Saturday's match. I apologise to Rebecca Clough, the Rugby WA Women's team, my own teammates and the wider Rugby public," Patu said in a statement after the hearing.
"I've played club, state and international rugby and previously haven't committed an act such as this and I accept my punishment.
"I want to reassure the rugby public, administration and my fellow players that when I return to play I will ensure that the game is played in the right spirit and do what I can to promote the women's game in a positive manner.
"My actions the other night were unacceptable and will not be repeated."
Patu was named skipper of the Wallaroos last year, leading them to twin losses against her native New Zealand.