Ireland dealt double suspension blow ahead of New Zealand clash

Liam Byrne Ireland

Ireland are set to be without front-row forwards Liam Byrne and Jaimin Jolliffe for Friday’s World Cup Group C match against New Zealand at Headingley because of suspension.

Byrne was given a one-match penalty notice by the tournament’s match review panel for a late tackle on Lebanon captain Mitchell Moses 10 minutes from the end of his side’s 32-14 defeat by the Cedars at Leigh on Sunday.

Byrne was sent to the sin bin for the offence. The Wigan prop was given another one-match penalty notice for a dangerous tackle earlier in the game. He was also issued with a caution for a high tackle during the fiery contest.

Jolliffe, who plays for NRL club Gold Coast Titans, was given a one-match penalty notice for a high tackle.

The players have until 11am on Tuesday to accept the notices or face a disciplinary hearing later in the day.

Their absence would be a major blow for Ireland. The Wolfhounds need to pull off a shock win over the Kiwis to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.

Byrne and Jolliffe have been Ireland’s starting props for both their matches so far. But at least fellow front-rower Robbie Mulhern will be available for Friday’s game. The panel decided he would face no further action following his sin-binning for his part in a melee.

Also, the panel failed to uphold a complaint from Ireland second-rower James Bentley that his testicles were squeezed in a tackle by Lebanon forward Kayne Kalache.

The panel ruled that, although footage of the incident was inconclusive, Kalache appeared to push off his opponent in order to regain his feet; and that contact was accidental.

Fiji without key forward for Scotland test

Fiji forward Tui Kamikamica will miss his team’s final Group B game against Scotland in Newcastle on Saturday. He has been given a one-match penalty notice for dangerous contact during their 60-4 win over Italy.

England prop Tom Burgess avoided any further punishment for his sin-binning in the final minute of his team’s 42-18 win over France.

The panel ruled Burgess knocked his opponent over with an open-handed push to the face; and the incident did not warrant any further action.

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