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Wales unlikely to appeal Warburton World Cup ban

Updated: October 17, 2011, 01:06


AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) Wales is unlikely to appeal the three-week suspension imposed on its Rugby World Cup captain Sam Warburton for his dangerous tackle in the semifinals, with assistant coach Neil Jenkins saying the Welsh "will probably take the medicine that's been given to us.''

Warburton was banned after being sent off for a dangerous tip tackle on winger Vincent Clerc during Wales' 9-8 semifinal loss and will miss Friday's third-place playoff against Australia. The penalty was handed down Sunday and Wales has 48 hours to appeal.

Jenkins told a news conference on Monday that Wales' coaching staff had not discussed appealing.

"It's in the past now and we've got to look forward to Friday's game and try to put it to the back of our minds,'' Jenkins said. "It's obviously difficult but what's gone is gone.

"There's not an awful lot we can do about it. We've obviously got to respect the decisions that they've made and move forward.''

Warburton was sent off in the 18th minute of Saturday's match by experienced Irish referee Alain Rolland, who had a full view of the tackle and immediately brandished a red card.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said after the match that Rolland had acted hastily and should have taken time to consult his touch judges and view replays on the big screen at Eden Park before deciding on a sanction against Warburton. He said the offense may have deserved a penalty or a yellow card but "I cannot see how that was a red card situation.''

"For an experienced referee to make such a quick decision in a semifinal of the World Cup, I just thought that decision ruined the semifinal.

"If someone tells me that's the correct decision or if (IRB referees chief) Paddy O'Brien comes out and says he's made the right decision then I'll come out and say that I'm wrong.''

O'Brien has since praised Rolland and said his decision was correct in law. Tip tackles are a red card offense under rugby's rules, even when malice is not present, and World Cup referees were reminded of that sanction before the tournament began.

Jenkins condemned spear tackles on Monday but said Warburton's tackle on Clerc, while hard, contained no malicious intent.

"We don't want tackles like that in the game,'' he said. "But sometimes you've got to understand and have a feel for these games, how important they are and the pressures the players are under. I think Alain (Rolland) is an experienced referee and he's made the call and we've got to respect that.

Jenkins said Warburton would eventually overcome his disappointment at being sent off, leaving Wales with only 14 men for more than an hour of a semifinal they lost by a single point.

"To be fair to the young kid he's been outstanding,'' Jenkins said. "He's been outstanding throughout the tournament in terms of his play and his leadership qualities.

"He's a young kid but sometimes in disappointment you learn a lot about yourself. I'm sure he's really disappointed with what's gone on. He's not a malicious player, we all know that. He's a fantastic player but, again, it's something you've just got to get over really and recover quickly and look forward to the next time he's on the park.''

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