Published Wednesday, 09 April 2014
The tackle on Saracens player Alex Goode that saw Ulster Jared Payne red carded. (© Pacemaker)
Just five minutes into Saturday's big game, Payne was sent off by French referee Jérôme Garcès.
Sarries full back Alex Goode was stretchered off after the thundering crash with Payne, but the red card proved hugely controversial.
Left with 14 men for most of the game, Ulster were defeated 17-15 by the visitors at Ravenhill.
Ulster captain Johann Muller was among those who felt the high tackle lacked malice or intent.
"Jared never took his eyes off the ball. He didn't see him until he made contact and I just thought a red card was really, really harsh," he said.
But on Wednesday, following an independent disciplinary hearing in Dublin, a two-week suspension was handed down.
According to the ERC, in upholding the red card decision, the judicial officer determined that Payne had committed a reckless act.
It was decided that the offence was at the low end of the scale and three weeks was felt to be the appropriate starting point for sanctions.
Given the lack of aggravating factors and Payne's clean disciplinary record, the maximum available reduction of one week was made and the two-week ban imposed.
The judicial officer said that the case had been particularly challenging and conveyed his thanks to Ulster Rugby representatives for the quality of their defence during the hearing.
Payne will be free to play from Monday 21 April.
© UTV News