Saints prop Ma’afu hit with two-week ban

YELLOW PERIL - Salesi Ma'afu was shown a yellow card for holding the leg of Tom Court (picture: Sharon Lucey)

YELLOW PERIL - Salesi Ma'afu was shown a yellow card for holding the leg of Tom Court (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Saints prop Salesi Ma’afu has been hit with a two-week ban for striking London Irish player Tom Court in last Friday’s game at Franklin’s Gardens.

Ma’afu pleaded guilty to the offence at Wednesday night’s disciplinary hearing and will now miss Saturday’s match at Bath and next Friday’s home clash with Harlequins.

It is the second time this season that the 31-year-old, who will be free to play again on March 3, has been suspended.

Ma’afu was banned for one week last month after totting up one foul play yellow card and two Level 1 citings.

He was involved in a heated battle with Court last Friday, with the pair being sent to the sin bin just before half-time.

The London Irish loosehead stamped on Ma’afu, with the Saints man punished for holding his opponent’s leg, sparking the reaction.

On that incident, Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: “Salesi probably shouldn’t have held him, and he shouldn’t have got stamped on.

“Clearly, one wasn’t quite as bad as the other but are they both yellow cards? I don’t know.

“It’s only a red card if you stamp to the head, so I wouldn’t want him (Court) to get any worse than that (the yellow).”