Bok slapped with three-week eye-gouging ban

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:57
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DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Bath's Springbok flank Francois Louw has been slapped with a three-week ban.

While the suspension - for making contact with the eye and eye area of an opponent - by a EPCR disciplinary committee will be a setback for Bath, it is 'good news' for South Africa.

It means Louw will be available for the Boks' year-end tour next month.

The ban arises from his club's Champions Cup, Round One match against Benetton at The Recreation Ground last week.

Louw was cited by the match citing commissioner, Tim Lowry (Ireland), for making contact with the eye area of the Benetton second row forward Marco Fuser, in the 77th minute of the match - in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

Fuser was later cleared on a charge of having bitten Louw.

The disciplinary committee - consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Achille Reali (Italy) and Becky Essex (England) - viewed video evidence and heard submissions from Louw, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Bath's legal representative, Sam Jones, and from the club's team manager, Sophie Bennett.

The Committee also heard submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, however, as Louw did not have a clean disciplinary record, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by only one week before imposing a suspension of three weeks.

Louw is free to play on Monday, 6 November and both the player and the EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

* In stark contrast, Fuser had the citing complaint against him dismissed.

Fuser was cited by the match citing commissioner, Tim Lowry (Ireland), for allegedly biting the Bath replacement flank, Louw, in the same incident in the 77th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

The EPCR disciplinary committee - consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Achille Reali (Italy) and Becky Essex (England) -  viewed video evidence and heard submissions from Fuser, from the Benetton legal representative, Brendan McGurk, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge and dismissed the citing complaint.

Fuser is therefore free to play and EPCR has the right to appeal the decision.
 
* Stade Francais Paris scrumhalf Terry Bouhraoua has been suspended for four weeks - arising from his club's Challenge Cup, Round One match against Krasny Yar at Krasny Yar Stadium.

Bouhraoua was cited by the match citing commissioner, Eugene Ryan (Ireland), for making contact with the eye area of the Krasny Yar hooker, Valerii Tsnobiladze, and for striking the same player with his knee, in the 51st minute of the match in contravention of Laws 10.4 (m) and 10.4 (a).

The EPCR disciplinary committee - consisting of David Martin (Ireland), Chairman, Pamela Woodman (Scotland) and Tony Wheat (England) - heard evidence and submissions from Bouhraoua, who pleaded guilty to the offences, from Camille Perritaz and Pascal Papé of Stade Francais Paris, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaints and determined that the offences had warranted a red card in each instance. With regard to both charges, the committee found that the offences were at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry points.

As the Committee decided that both offences were effectively part of the same incident, and as it took into account all mitigating factors, the overall sanction imposed came to a total of four weeks.

Bouhraoua is therefore free to play on Monday, November 20.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

* Leicester Tigers flank Mike Williams has been suspended for one week having been cited for charging into a ruck and making contact with the head/face area of the Racing 92 centre, Henry Chavancy, in contravention of Law 10.4 (h).

The EPCR disciplinary committee -0 consisting of Roger Morris (Wales), Chairman, Jennifer Donovan (Ireland) and Tommy Dalton (Ireland) - heard evidence and submissions from Williams, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Leicester Tigers' legal representative, Sam Jones, and from the club's Rugby Co-ordinator, Dave Bassett. The Committee also heard submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

The Committee reduced the sanction by one week due to the player's guilty plea, expression of remorse and immediate apology before imposing a suspension of one week.

Williams is free to play on Monday, October 23, and both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
 
* Krasny Yar hooker, Valerii Tsnobiladze, has been suspended for three weeks, arising from his club's Challenge Cup, Round One match against Stade Francais Paris at Krasny Yar Stadium.

Tsnobiladze was cited by the match citing commissioner, Eugene Ryan (Ireland), for making contact with the eye area of the Stade Francais Paris No.8, Bakary Meité, in the 51st minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

a EPCR disciplinary committee - consisting of David Martin (Ireland), Chairman, Pamela Woodman (Scotland) and Tony Wheat (England) - heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Tsnobiladze, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Krasny Yar club captain, Vasili Artemyev, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

The Committee reduced the sanction by one week due to the player's guilty plea before imposing a suspension of three weeks.

Tsnobiladze is free to play on Wednesday, November 15, and both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

* Lyon wing Timilai Rokoduru has been suspended for four weeks, arising from his club's Challenge Cup, Round One match against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park.

Rokoduru was cited by the match citing commissioner, Paul Hull (England), for a dangerously high tackle on the Cardiff Blues wing, Blaine Scully, in the 44th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).

The EPCR disciplinary committee - consisting of Roger Morris (Wales), Chairman, Jennifer Donovan (Ireland) and Tommy Dalton (Ireland) - heard evidence and submissions from Rokoduru, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Lyon Administrator, Alain Bertrand, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby's sanctions and selected six weeks as the appropriate entry point.

The Committee reduced the sanction by two weeks due to the player's guilty plea, expression of remorse and immediate apology before imposing a suspension of four weeks.

Rokoduru is free to play on Monday, 20 November, and both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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