NZ Rugby World - - The Breskdown -

qual­i­fy­ing match be­tween Spain and Bel­gium con­tin­ues, with World Rugby hav­ing handed out a num­ber of lengthy suspensions.

Five Span­ish play­ers have re­ceived bans rang­ing be­tween 14 and 43 weeks for abus­ing the ref­eree dur­ing their con­tro­ver­sial 18-10 loss to Bel­gium in March.

The Span­ish play­ers were out­raged at the fi­nal whis­tle, be­liev­ing they had been harshly and un­fairly treated by Ro­ma­nian ref­eree Vlad Lor­dachescu, who had pe­nalised them 18 times dur­ing the en­counter.

That in it­self wasn’t the prob­lem – it was the knowl­edge that be­cause Spain lost the game, it meant Ro­ma­nia qual­i­fied for the 2019 World Cup in­stead.

Spain had come into the game with Bel­gium know­ing vic­tory would have se­cured them a spot in Ja­pan next year.

The Span­ish Rugby Fed­er­a­tion have de­manded a re­play of the match, while World Rugby have or­dered a com­mis­sion of in­quiry in to the events that day.

Mean­while, a Rugby Europe In­de­pen­dent Ju­di­cial Com­mit­tee met on Tues­day to con­sider the cases of the play­ers with re­place­ment Se­bastien Rouet sus­pended for 43 weeks and his brother, Guil­laume, who started the game, cop­ping 36 for phys­i­cally and ver­bally abus­ing the ref­eree.

Flanks Pierre Barthere and Lu­cas Guil­laume, and first-five Mathieu Belie were found guilty of ‘threat­en­ing ac­tions/words at a match o cial’ and each banned for 14 weeks.

SUS­PENDED Guil­laume Rouet, sus­pended for 36 weeks. SUS­PENDED 36 WEEKS

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