Jorja Miller and Maddison Levi to miss rest of SVNS Perth through suspension


New Zealand’s Jorja Miller and Australia’s Maddison Levi will miss the rest of SVNS Perth after being sent off for separate incidents during a thrilling quarter-final on Saturday afternoon.

Miller, 19, signed the longest women’s contract in New Zealand rugby history last year and the teenager repaid the faith with a strong start to the 2023/24 season.

Unfortunately for the New Zealander, she will take no further part in the competition on Australia’s west coast after being handed a three-match ban for a high shot against Australia.

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Referee Craig Chan had no choice but to send Miller off during the first half of the quarter-final at HBF Park. The Kiwis went down to six players against the SVNS Series leaders.

Australia raced into a 12-nil lead after ties to Faith Nathan and Madison Ashby, but then disaster struck. Try-scoring machine Maddison Levi was sent off for the second time in as many games.

Levi, who was sent off in the SVNS Cape Town final last month, joins her sister Teagan on the sidelines. Teagan was sent off for a high tackle late on the opening day in Perth.

Both Miller and Levi have been found to have breached Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) and have been handed bans that will see them miss the final day in Australia.

Miller was handed a three-game ban after the judiciary considered mitigating factors including her clean record, the acceptance of the card and her young age.

But Levi has been handed a heavier four-match ban. The judiciary considered her acknowledgment of foul play but Levi’s recent red card for a similar incident was a factor.

Levi’s suspension is a concern for hometown favourites Australia. It’s their fourth red card in three tournaments. On top of being sent off twice herself, sister Tegan and teammate Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea have also seen red this season.

“We’ve been working on getting our tackle height down but I guess for Teags, she was going in with some really good intent and I’d never discourage her from the intent that she has,” Australia captain Charlotte Caslick told reporters on Friday night.

“With the way that they’re policing the tackle laws now we have to make sure that last moment, we’re dipping into contact.

“It might be a record I think. Three tournaments and three red cards.

“We say that courage is our currency and it’s the backbone of this team and working hard,” she said.

“The next part of that is probably just being a bit smarter and we can’t just be good athletes, we’ve got to be good footballers too.

“I think next steps forward is just learning from our mistakes. (Coach Tim Walsh) likes to say we’re either winning or we’re learning so we’ll definitely take a few things out of that.”





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