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South Africa’s star flank, Bath-based openside Francois Louw, has been cleared on a punching charge by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing.

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Louw is one of several players who faced the RFU hearing, but the only one to be cleared – with the rest handed a range of bans, from one to five weeks.

Louw appeared before an RFU disciplinary hearing after receiving a red card for punching or striking an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (a), in the 12-17 Premiership loss to Leicester Tigers last Saturday, 1 December.

The citing was dismissed in its entirety, suggesting that the referee had erred in sending Louw off in the first place, or at the very least that the incident warranted a lesser penalty.

The Panel comprised Christopher Quinlan, Nick Dark and John Brennan.

 

* Meanwhile Louw’s Bath teammate, Lee Mears was given a two-week ban and ordered to pay £500 towards hearing costs.

He is free to play again on 17 December.

Mears appeared before the RFU hearing after being cited for punching or striking an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (a), in the same encounter with Tigers.

The player pleaded guilty to the charge.

 

Tigers player Brett Deacon was given a one-week ban – after he also appeared before the RFU disciplinary panel after the scrap in the match. He was also cited for punching or striking an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (a).

The played pleaded guilty to the charge and must also pay £500 towards hearing costs.

He is free to play again on 10 December.

 

Another Bath player, Matt Banahan, appeared before the same panel – after receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle, contrary to Law 10.4 (e), in the same fixture.

The player also pleaded guilty to the charge.

Banahan was given a three-week ban and ordered to pay £500 towards hearing costs.

He is free to play again on 24 December.

 

* Chris Hala’ufia of London Irish also appeared before the same a disciplinary panel after receiving a red card for a tip tackle, contrary to Law 10.4 (j), in the Premiership match between London Welsh and London Irish last Saturday.

The player pleaded guilty to the charge.

Hala’Uifa was given a five-week ban and order to pay £500 towards hearing costs.

He is free to play again on 7 January.

One Response to Flo cleared of punching charges

  • 1

    This is a farce,

    A guy who pled guilty to striking an opponent gets 2weeks, but the guy who plead guilty to a dangerous tackle gets 3.

    I saw that tackle, got him but there wasn’t as much in it as it suggests. The player moved down and to the right, the player tried to grab him and he got clothes-lined. Unfortunate but no intent there. Worthy of a sanction, but surely not more than someone who struck an opponent, which could not have been accidental at all.


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