Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Tony Brown takes big hit from Pakalani


Brock James amazing reverse flick pass


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Southland sensational try after big bump


Meanwhile in New Zealand advert


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup

Friday, January 07, 2011

Richie Rees banned for 12 weeks after contact with Dylan Hartley's eyes

Richie Rees banned for 12 weeks after contact with Dylan Hartley's eyes

Cardiff Blues scrumhalf Richie Rees was handed a 12 week suspension earlier today for his part in a scuffle against Northampton Saints that involved his fingers making contact with Dylan Hartley's eyes.

Yesterday England lock Dave Attwood was suspended for nine weeks for a stamp, and today it's Welsh back Rees who will also take no part in the Six Nations next month. Rees' incident took place when a scuffle broke out in a hugely physical Heineken Cup game last month.

It's the same match where Xavier Rush was red carded for a big hit on Courtney Lawes.

Rees was reportedly surprised when he found out he was cited after the match, as he couldn't recall the incident. In fairness, Hartley, who was on the receiving end, barely seemed to notice it himself. Despite that, a citing went ahead with Rees pleading not guilty, stating that any contact that was made would have been entirely accidental.

Irishman Pat Barriscale, the Independent Judicial Officer, viewed numerous replays (more than what was televised) and heard testimonies from the players. He found that Rees was in fact guilty of foul play, even if it was reckless more than intentional.

It was found to be at the low end of the scale in terms of Law 10.4(m) - contact with the eye/eye area - but that still constitutes a minimum sanction of 12 weeks. Rees has the right to appeal.

The following clip includes a tackle from Hartley that more than likely prompted the scuffle, with Blues lock Paul Tito clearly taking exception to it.


Time: 01:11

Posted at 4:36 pm | 67 comments

Viewing 67 comments

Anonymous January 07, 2011 5:53 pm

nothing in it.

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Warrior January 07, 2011 5:58 pm

If ever a player deserved to be gouged it is Hartley!!!

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Jack78 January 07, 2011 6:14 pm

stupid ban

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 6:20 pm

How the fuck was that picked up?

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 6:21 pm

Hartley really is just a first-rate punk. I wish the gentleman here would have gotten to finish what he started when he grabbed Hartley by the throat.

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No9 January 07, 2011 6:24 pm

Thats a joke u its not contact woth his eyes and u cant see qho's hand it is

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Born To Ruck! January 07, 2011 6:32 pm

12 weeks is the minimum for contact with the eyes, so it shows how low down the scale it was. 3 months for something the officials openly admitted was reckless rather than malicious is a joke.

www.borntoruck.com

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jeanP January 07, 2011 6:43 pm

12 weeks because he is not French

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 6:45 pm

if that gets 12 weeks then some other bans should be extended to lifetime

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Jamie January 07, 2011 6:45 pm

How can a citing comissioner get that yet miss Powell's hit on McCaw and Kaino punching a Welsh player in the face?

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Chris Peacock January 07, 2011 6:46 pm

He's potentially blinded someone for life; why is this not a six month, a year or life ban?

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 6:47 pm

STICE POUR DAVID, REJOIGNEZ NOTRE GROUPE SUR FACEBOOK:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=258443334441


REJOIGNEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 6:48 pm

Tackling could potentially kill someone... why not ban a player for tackling another?

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 7:09 pm

Hartley is possibly the dirties player out there at the moment...he deserves every thing he gets thrown at him

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 7:14 pm

absolute joke, schalk berger got much less for his gouge on fitzgerald during the lions, there is nothing in that.

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 8:01 pm

Didn't they only decide to really clamp down on gouging after the Burger-Fitzgerald incident?

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Dalma January 07, 2011 8:34 pm

Funny to see how brutalities coming from some countries are always "reckless but not intentional"...

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(u-p)rick January 07, 2011 8:44 pm

It's contact with the eyes (apparently) so I guess we can't be too picky, but it didn't really seem like much if anything. However the more bans for 'gouging' etc the better IMO...

Would any shit stirrers or French please get over attoub and dupuy....I mean take the clear evidence we saw of dupuy having more than 1 go and then this incident and can we honestly say this was worse? That's why this was not an extremely lengthy ban....(relatively)

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JAY January 07, 2011 9:14 pm

"Funny to see how brutalities coming from some countries are always "reckless but not intentional"..."


Must be French... always whining. Why can't you just accept that you have some truly scumbag players and stop trying to dirty the names of players of other countries? The state of French rugby and French fans right now is pathetic.

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fry January 07, 2011 9:24 pm

A bit ironic, given that it wasn't so long ago Hartley was in a similar situation and nothing ever came of it:

http://bit.ly/g1Kcgw

I'm not blaming Hartley or anything, especially since he wasn't the one raising an issue with what happened. Neither one was convincingly, as well.

And Jay, you sound like an asshole.

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fry January 07, 2011 9:24 pm

*convincingly malicious

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Flipje January 07, 2011 9:37 pm

Jay,

Thanks for this great insight and in depth analysis

Cordialement
Flipje

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 10:03 pm

So Richie Rees gets 12 weeks for that and that clown atwood gets 9 weeks for stamping on a players face........what the hell is going on with the citing commission?

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 10:23 pm

It was Dylan Heartley!! Rees should be praised!!

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jarhead January 07, 2011 10:34 pm

1)How was that picked up? Did Hartley whinge about it?

2) If you grab someone around the neck and face your fingers are going to go near their eyes. 12 weeks is too much in this case.

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Anonymous January 07, 2011 10:44 pm

How come no action for the blatant cheap shot by Hartley when Tito's back was turned? Big brave Hartley, throw the ball at someone when they walking away from you. Then whine afterwards that you were "gouged". Scum

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Vin January 07, 2011 10:45 pm

As I'd rate this as very low on the old eye contact scale it does (as someone already stated) raise the question of how the citing seems to work....forget dupuy or attoub, but look at attwood! He causes serious damage, has a history of putting his feet in unwanted areas and he gets off less.....very odd.....

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JAY January 07, 2011 10:55 pm

That wasn't in-depth, simply very accurate and concise.

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MrC January 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks greatly for the clip RD - first I've seen.

Put me in the 'How the hell did anyone spot that?' camp. Looks like Rees was trying to put his hand over Hartley's mouth to shut him up. Don't think too many people would be upset about that.

Also don't think too many people would have been upset if he'd punched Hartley - would he have got 12 weeks for that?

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JungleJim January 07, 2011 11:16 pm

Players have to learn not to put there hands anywhere near another player's eyes, you're going to get banned. Glad to see rees getting a ban finally he's also a dirty and highly over rated little bugger of a player, Seen him on more than one occasion being loose with a boot and stupid little cheap shots. Thought for a while hartley had matured as player going by this he hasn't. People forget he got done for gouging himself, banned for 26 weeks back in 2007.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 1:06 am

I am French.
I don't give a f*** about Dupuy or Attoub.
But I got to admit this citing commission has absolutely no credibility with the absence of consistency between the bans.
They should justify publicly the length of each decision.
Cheers to La Rochelle team which did not cry about it and mention they would not sue Attwood. Toderasc could have lost an eye for f***'s sake.
Having said that, when is the next try savers and rib breakers?

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 1:24 am

Why don't you care about you're own players acting like little thugs and cowards? I thought French fans would care when their own players act so thuggishly... I certainly would. No wonder dirty play is so common about rugby. If nobody gives a shit about it it will keep occurring.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 1:50 am

Hold on.
I meant Attoub and Dupuy's bans were deserved.

Regarding your comments about thugs, cowards, dirty players and French fans, I won't waste my time.
You are absolutely right.
French are evil, eat English babies, rape Welsh kittens, side kick Irish cripples, tackle pregnant Scottish teenagers... while all other rugby teams are made of brilliant gentlemen.
No comment about the Southern hemisphere as I live there for the moment (coward yeah)

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David January 08, 2011 2:06 am

Dumb thing to do by Rees, but as everyone has said Hartley is a total thug. Seeing Brad Thorn get even for his little cheap shot on McCaw made me smile.

and i'm not even from New Zealand!

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 2:36 am

I don't think any of that stuff about the French. I just think the players, coaches and fans are particularly cowardly or thuggish.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 3:15 am

didnt the stade francais staff spit at the photogropher who took the attoub gouging photos. thats pretty thugish if you ask me

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Vin January 08, 2011 3:21 am

Hartley is no saint but he isn't this 'devil' you guys seem to be portraying him as....in fact what did he actually do to deserve anything here? Threw the ball at the locks stomach?! I mean yes that deserves a reaction but it's hardly the most provocative incident of the century....

Or are all those comments from the old 'don't hurt McCaw' fan club down south?

Come on guys again he deserved a beating for that but it's not the worst thing we've seen....

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DEO January 08, 2011 3:47 am

@ JAY,

your narrow minded stereotypical view cannot and should not be tollerated on this blog. If you are scottish (which i am not) then you could be forgiven , as they are the least offending nationality as far as citing commision goes, however i fear you are not, upon which premisies you should shut up...rant done

deserves a ban, not 12 weeks when, as atwood stamps on someones face , breaking teeth, and causing a nessecity for plastic surgery ?

IRB have some work to be done before the world cup..

DEO

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Von January 08, 2011 4:12 am

Hah in the SH this would never get 12 weeks, players are much tougher than these NH wimps!!! And bigger ;)

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no7 January 08, 2011 10:29 am

bakkies "i get banned every week" only got 8 weeks for a blatant gouge with plenty of evidence and richie gets 12 for this?

erc what a f*cking joke.

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....... January 08, 2011 10:53 am

no7, what about simon shaw stamping on that bulgarian player too? Shocking.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 10:55 am

Hartley is a prick, next time make sure you blind the cunt

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JAY January 08, 2011 11:14 am

@ DEO


My views are not narrow minded or stereotypical. They is justified by many French fans that post on this site and others and by the behaviour of players in the Top 14 and coaching staff of those teams.

I am Zimbabwean by the way, living in the UK.

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Colombes January 08, 2011 12:52 pm

Nothin wrong with Rees i think
it seems more accidental than intentional
i think the commission gave him the minimum ban because it happened during a scuffle,

french fans shouldn't compare it with dupuy accident which was coward and intentional

but concerning the Attwood 9 weeks ban, it is just a joke.. Atwood may not aimed deliberately the head of Toderasc, but it was truely dangerous and deserved a larger ban regarding to Quinnell tragedy
The fact that ERC commission even reduced the sanction of 50per cent is incredible, as attwood was suspected 3 times of previous stamping polemics.

i just hope irb or erc won't wait for a french stamping to put the usual 1 year ban, because it will create more frog moaners :)

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(u-p)rick January 08, 2011 1:41 pm

'no7, what about simon shaw stamping on that bulgarian player too? Shocking.

January 08, 2011 11:53 AM'

Whilst this wasn't a comment towards me, I'm left wondering what it has to do with this incident....bearing in mind no7 made a valid comment on an incident of similar nature.... Or are you just a griping Saffa....

Also could you show me a link to this incident as I want to see it actually.

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HeavenlyDivine January 08, 2011 2:51 pm

The NH are ruining rugby. I remember when NH rugby was considered the tougher of the two hemispheres, and rightly so.

Now the game up North is softer than a babies bottom. Do not touch an opponents face, or you'll be banned for months. Whats hilarious is that if Richie Rees actually PUNCHED Hartley in the eye, he'd have gotten less than 12 weeks.

The citing commision are so paranoid about eye gauging that they've lost all sense of reason.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 5:36 pm

@ Colombes


Please shut the fuck up. There is no conspiracy against the French players. The French scumbags were punished and justly so so stop complaining.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 6:43 pm

Heavenly divine, who controls the citing down in the SH.....isn't that the same association? So if a NH player is a bad egg and does something weak but gets picked up then how is it the NH's fault?!? Surely the governing body is who is in charge....

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Flipje January 08, 2011 7:37 pm

@Anonymous,

"@ Colombes
Please shut the fuck up. There is no conspiracy against the French players. The French scumbags were punished and justly so so stop complaining."

I know it might be difficult for you but just try to elevate the debate. Also try to read the message from Colombes, even written by a French it is pretty clear and far from the possible moaning comments that you might expect from the typical French (since you are so keen on stereotypes).

No conspiracy but somehow a "case" for inconstency in certain decisions.

As for Rees, I found the 12 weeks quite heavy, in evidence only of the video presented here.

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Anonymous January 08, 2011 9:30 pm

Awful ban, and the Gloucester second row got 9 weeks for a deliberate stamp (although it was behind him.) The citing commissioner called this 'careless,' which it is, but Hartley didn't suffer broken teeth..
Again a huge lack of consistency.

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 2:06 am

Absolutely ridiculous. Dylan Hartley, incidentally, is a..scrap that seems all the comments say it for me.


....He's a dick. Hope he gets battered and forced to retire. Im jus sayin!

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Calon Lan January 09, 2011 2:34 am

I watched the incident several times after the match and I really couldn't work out what Rees was supposed to have done.

I can see it in this replay and as has already been mentioned, eye contact is a minimum of 12 weeks irrelevant of it being intentional or not.

I have no arguments with the punishment being correct in reference to the laws but I do question the value of the laws when they result in decisions such as this.

I suppose it'll be the standard ERC story that follows though, Rees will appeal and it'll be forgotten about. Seems to be the way these things work at the moment.

There is of course the slight chance that Rees will still miss the 6 Nations which is a bit of bonus for Welsh fans everywhere.

I imagine many would prefer to reward Rees for what happened though, having Hartley at arms length and NOT being malicious to him must take the patience of a saint.

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 4:42 am

"No conspiracy but somehow a "case" for inconstency in certain decisions."


No not really.

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 10:53 am

That was literally a push in the face, nothing more. I imagine Rees wanted to take his head off after that cheap shot swinging arm.

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 11:04 am

no worse than hartley's 'contact with eyes' against Scotland in 2010.

He wasn't cited, and while he should be out for a very long time for 2nd offence, he's still playing on (and still a cunt).

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 2:24 pm

more like a gay slap

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Chris_J January 10, 2011 7:51 am

I don't understand how Attwood's kick resulted in a nine week ban and this one 12 weeks. How is that consistent at all? OK they're different offences but there's no doubt Attwood's kick was way worse than this nonsense.

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Richard January 10, 2011 11:37 am

1- Hartley's cheap shot the other week after the restart/ knock on= no citing

2- Atwood put a hole in someones face with a boot =9 weeks

3- A hand in the face in a handbags kerfuffle= 12 weeks.

Whats wrong with this picture???

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Anonymous January 10, 2011 2:59 pm

^^^ there is no south african involved?!?

Surely illegal play is not right if there is no saffa involved...

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....... January 10, 2011 3:40 pm

(u-p)rick, I was making reference to his totally incorrect and unnecessary statement.

Simon Shaw did not stamp on a Bulgarian player, just like Bakkies Botha did not blatantly gouge anybody.

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(u-p)rick January 10, 2011 6:48 pm

....oh fair enough, my apologies.

In retrospect I don't remember hearing about bakkies gouging anyone so I should have realised...

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Anonymous January 11, 2011 5:18 am

Check Hartley's pants.

I think you'll find a pussy

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Anonymous January 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Hartley testified against Rees by telephone at the hearing.

Pure Scumbag.

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Anonymous January 11, 2011 6:49 pm

' Richard said...
1- Hartley's cheap shot the other week after the restart/ knock on= no citing

2- Atwood put a hole in someones face with a boot =9 weeks

3- A hand in the face in a handbags kerfuffle= 12 weeks.

Whats wrong with this picture???

January 10, 2011 12:37 PM

Anonymous said...
^^^ there is no south african involved?!?

Surely illegal play is not right if there is no saffa involved...

January 10, 2011 3:59 PM'

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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Anonymous January 11, 2011 7:57 pm

whitey trying to poke out someones eyes what a surprise

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mat January 11, 2011 11:51 pm

citing commisioner is trying to justify his job absolutely nothing here.

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mat January 11, 2011 11:54 pm

on another note Rush was red carded and banned for the high tackle where it is clear that lawes stooped into and thus many refs would not penalise
yet in this clip we see a clothes-line on rees and the ref just talks to him ? anyone else amazed by the two contrasting decisions !

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