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Van Graan's Bath prop banned for four games

DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: England and Bath prop Beno Obano has been suspended for four games after he attended a disciplinary hearing.

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Bath played nearly an hour of last weekend’s Premiership Final against Northampton with a man down after Obano was given his marching orders for a high tackle on Juarno Augustus.

Referee Christophe Ridley and his fellow officials reviewed the footage at length at the time and concluded that it was a red card offence.

“The case of Beno Obano, Bath, was heard by an independent disciplinary panel chaired by Matthew Weaver sitting with Leon Lloyd and Mitch Read,” said a Rugby Football Union statement.

“He was shown a red card for dangerous tackling, contrary to World Rugby law 9.13, during a game against Northampton Saints on June 8.

“The player admitted an act of foul play but disputed that it reached the red card threshold.

“The panel upheld the charge and the player received a four-match ban which will be reduced to three if he makes an application to World Rugby to undertake the coaching intervention programme [CIP].

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“Given the timing of this disciplinary hearing at the end of the domestic season, it is not immediately obvious which would be the next applicable meaningful fixtures for the purposes of sanction.

“These will be confirmed in due course.”

Speaking in the aftermath of his team’s gallant 21-25 defeat, Bath boss Johann van Graan said: “I don’t believe that is foul play. I believe that is a collision between two extremely powerful rugby players, a ball carrier and a tackler.

“I’m not going to get into the whole red card debate. It’s unfortunate. We had a World Cup Final with a captain being red carded and a captain being yellow carded, and a Premiership Final with a red card.

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“With the decision itself, I have got no issues. I’d love to keep 15 v 15 on the pitch but, as I said, there is absolutely no reaction from Ben [Spencer] or me or anybody in the group about the red card.

“That was the referee’s call and we will stick by that. All we focus on is our performance, which was heroic.”

Additional reporting by @RugbyPass

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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