Western Force have suffered a huge blow ahead of the Super Rugby AU qualifying final with Tevita Kuridrani ruled out of the game through suspension.
Kuridrani was on Tuesday suspended for three weeks after he was cited for a lifting tackle on Hunter Paisami in the Force's dramatic 30-27 win over the Reds; the veteran centre had only been yellow carded at the time.
But the offence was deemed to have met the red-card threshold and that decision was upheld at the judiciary where he was rubbed out for three weeks, which will see him sidelined through to the first week of Super Rugby trans-Tasman series on May 14.
With the Force heading to Canberra to face the Brumbies on Saturday, the loss of Kuridrani is particularly untimely.
The news was just as bad for the Rebels who will be without Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa'amausili for the opening game of their trans-Tasman campaign after both forwards were handed three-week bans for high tackles.
Naisarani and Fa'amausili had both been red carded for high tackles in the Rebels' win over the Waratahs.
The initial entry point for the offences was a six-week suspension but given all three players plead guilty and had either good or "relatively good" judicial records, those bans were reduced to three weeks apiece.