published on behalf of an independent Disciplinary Committee

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

Maama Vaipulu suspended for six weeks

The Castres Olympique No 8, Maama Vaipulu, has been suspended for six weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris today (Wednesday, 24 October) arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 match against the Exeter Chiefs at Stade Pierre Fabre.

Vaipulu was sent off by the referee, John Lacey (Ireland), in the 36th minute of the match for striking the Exeter Chiefs hooker, Luke Cowan-Dickie, to the head with his shoulder in contravention of Law 9.12.

Law 9.12 Striking with the shoulder
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks. 

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Martyn Wood (England) and Andrea Caranci (Italy), heard evidence and submissions from Vaipulu, who accepted the charge, from the Castres Olympique legal representative, Clément Germain, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision and found that the act of foul play was at the top end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected 10 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, and given the player’s guilty plea and early expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by four weeks before imposing a suspension of six weeks.

Vaipulu is free to play on Monday, 3 December 2018. Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

CHALLENGE CUP

Julien Fumat citing complaint dismissed

The Pau wing, Julien Fumat, has had a citing complaint against him dismissed following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris today (Wednesday, 24 October) arising from his club’s Challenge Cup, Round 2 match against Stade Francais Paris at Stade du Hameau.

Fumat was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Francesco Grillo (Italy), for allegedly entering a ruck dangerously in the 40th minute of the match and making contact to the head of the Stade Francais Paris scrum half, Clément Daguin (No 9), in contravention of Law 9.20.

Law 9.20 Dangerous play in a ruck or maul (without binding onto another player)
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.20 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks. 

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Kathrine Mackie (Scotland) and Philippe Cavaleiros (France), heard evidence and submissions from Fumat, who did not accept the charge, from the Pau Director of Rugby, Simon Mannix, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee found that Fumat’s actions were accidental and did not constitute foul play. The complaint was therefore dismissed and Fumat is free to play.

EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

Watisoni Votu citing complaint dismissed

The Pau wing, Watisoni Votu, has had a citing complaint against him dismissed following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris today (Wednesday, 24 October) arising from his club’s Challenge Cup, Round 2 match against Stade Francais Paris at Stade du Hameau.

Votu was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Francesco Grillo (Italy), for lifting the Stade Francais Paris centre, Malietoa Hingano (No 13), off his feet and failing to return him to the ground safely in the 28th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.18. The player was shown a yellow card by match referee, Hamish Smales (England), following the incident.

Law 9.18 A  player  must  not  lift  an  opponent  off  the  ground  and  drop  or  drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact with the ground

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.18 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 6 weeks; Mid-range: 10 weeks; Top end: 14 to 52 weeks. 

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Andrea Caranci (Italy), Chair, Kathrine Mackie (Scotland) and Frank Hadden (Scotland), heard evidence and submissions from Votu, who did not accept the charge, from the Pau Director of Rugby, Simon Mannix, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee found that Votu had committed an act of foul play, but that it did not warrant a red card and the complaint was dismissed. Votu is therefore free to play.

EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

Maxim Gargalic suspended for four weeks

The Enisei-STM No 8, Maxim Gargalic, has been suspended for four weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing today (Wednesday, 24 October) arising from his club’s Challenge Cup, Round 2 match against La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

Gargalic was sent off by referee, Vlad Iordachescu (Romania), in the 25th minute of the match for tackling the La Rochelle scrum half, Jean-Victor Goillot (No 9), dangerously in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 Dangerous tackling
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks. 

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Philippe Cavaleiros (France), Chair, Kathrine Mackie (Scotland) and Martyn Wood (England), heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Gargalic, who did not accept the red card, from the Enisei-STM coach, Iurii Krasnobaev, from the Enisei-STM club representative, Nikolay Murzin, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision and found that the act of foul play was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected six weeks as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, however, despite the player’s clean disciplinary record, the Committee was not able to grant the maximum mitigation of 50% of the sanction due to his plea of not guilty, and it therefore decided to reduce the sanction by two weeks before imposing a suspension of four weeks.

Gargalic is free to play on Monday, 26 November 2018. Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

Notes

(i) Red Cards
a) The case of any player sent off in Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches shall be adjudicated by an independent Disciplinary Committee or an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable.
b) Until the hearing the player is ineligible to play in any tournament.

(ii) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by EPCR for all Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner’s opinion warranted a red card.
b) For such matches, clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the match to make a citing. In certain circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) The tournament Disciplinary Officer may forward the submitted citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.
e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
(iii) Disciplinary Hearing
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee or independent Judicial Officer are chosen by the chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Mike Hamlin.
b) EPCR’s Disciplinary Officer presents the case against the player.
c) If a decision is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will be required to consider the appropriate sanction under World Rugby’s sanctioning regime, which EPCR is obliged to follow. The seriousness of the player’s actions will be first assessed in order to determine which of the three stipulated entry points (lower end, mid-range and top end) is the most appropriate.
d) The Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will determine the appropriate entry point based on an assessment of a number of particular characteristics of the player’s actions, including whether or not they were intentional, whether or not they caused any injuries and whether or not they had any effect on the relevant match.
e) After deciding the entry point, the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer will then consider whether the suspension should be increased from the entry point to take account of certain specified aggravating factors, such as a poor disciplinary record or the need for deterrence, and/or decreased from the entry point to take account of certain specified mitigating actions, such as a guilty plea, a good disciplinary record, the player’s conduct at the hearing and expressions of remorse.
f) A suspension is a blanket ban from playing rugby union anywhere in the world. Players are suspended on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would ordinarily result in a player missing one match. Suspensions take into account periods of inactivity (such as the close season), periods when a player is injured or otherwise not fit to play, and when a player is not available or not expected to play. Suspensions should also take into account any out-of-season matches which are not considered to be meaningful, or which are not close enough to the season to be a determining factor in a player’s future selection.
g) Both parties to the hearing (EPCR and the player) have the right to appeal decisions. Appeals must be lodged within three (3) working days of receiving the full written decision of the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer.
h) The full written decision will be available on epcrugby.com/discipline/hearing-decisions when the disciplinary process is complete.
i) For World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, found at Appendix 1 to World Rugby Regulation 17, go to www.world.rugby