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Wednesday Dec 3, 2014

Donncha O'Callaghan banned for two weeks for kick to head

Donncha O'Callaghan banned for two weeks for kick to head

Poor Stuart Olding. His head must look similar to a rugby ball, because for the second time this season his attractive cranium has been roughed up by a boot. This time it was Munster lock Donncha O’Callaghan who did it, and has been suspended.

The incident occurred early in the second half of the Munster and Ulster Thomand Park clash last week Friday. When Olding needed medical attention it wasn’t clear to see what happened at first, but replays showed that O’Callaghan’s boot made contact with his head.

The 94 times capped Ireland lock appeared before a disciplinary committee in Glasgow, having been cited for allegedly kicking Olding in the Guinness Pro12 match.

They reviewed footage of the incident and listened to representations from, and on behalf of, O’Callaghan. They found that he had committed an act of foul play and upheld the citing complaint.

Their view was that the player’s actions had been reckless, but that the primary contact with the opponent had been on his shoulder and chest area. In terms of seriousness, his actions were at the lower end of World Rugby’s sanctions for foul play, which carries a 4 week entry-point suspension.

In light of mitagating factors and due to O’Callaghan’s clean record over a long playing career, together with his conduct at the hearing, the committee determined that he should be suspended from playing for a period of two weeks, up to and including Sunday, 14 December 2014. 

“The committee accepted the action was not intentional,” said Munster’s team manager.

The ban rules the 35-year-old out of back to back fixtures against Clermont in the European Champions Cup, starting this Saturday at home, before the reuturn fixture in France on Dec 14th. 

Olding, who was kicked in the head by Romain Taofifenua just over a month ago (resulting in a three week ban), left the field for treatment but came back on and finished the match.

View the incident below, and official highlights from the match on page two

credit: Le-Rugbynistere


  • 10stonenumber10
    11:11 AM 08/12/2014

    DOC has a fairly clean record, he is a well established player, seems to have been around as long as POC has. As noted above, he is not French, or of Polynesian heritage. It disturbs me a bit that we see almost identical incidents treated completely differently by citing commissioners and commentators. Stuart Barnes and Dewi Morris are renowned racists, I watched the highlights of the england game with different commentary to the coverage, in the coverage when mike brown was dumped by a guy with a complicated name, it was ignored as a 'hefty hit'. In the British highlights, immediately they were on about reckless play, tip tackles, hallmarks of 'their game'. I am not saying the citing board have the same agenda as those outspoken idiots, but it seems foreign players no matter their heritage are dealt with more harshly when it comes to clumsy incidents. I switched off the highlights.

  • themull
    11:04 AM 06/12/2014

    Idiotic and clumsy but I don't see it being really dirty or intentionally dangerous..Deserves the ban, maybe 3 or 4 weeks just to knock some sense into him... DOC has always been a player who has been prone to hack at thew ball when it comes loose and I guess his instincts here took over again..

  • drg
    12:11 AM 04/12/2014

    Not defending this or anything, but just putting this out there: what was the other players disciplinary record like? With everyone else, I cannot see a difference, in fact I think if there is going to be any bans etc, then DOC should have the bigger one because it was not picked up in game and punished in game... Either way it's no surprise that the IRB (oh wait, it's called '14 year old renames IRB' now isn't it?) anyway, no surprise they can't get consistency right.. I suppose that didn't change with the name...

  • danknapp
    11:16 PM 03/12/2014

    So it seems, mon amis.

  • vladimir
    11:05 PM 03/12/2014

    What a clumsy player! Look, O'Connell got no ban.

  • eddie-g
    8:23 PM 03/12/2014

    The mind boggles as to how Taufifenoa got a longer ban for his transgression. On the scale of recklesness, where the tackled player had not even placed the ball, this was a heckuva lot worse.

  • reality
    7:46 PM 03/12/2014

    Bloody idiot. Kicking at a loose ball is one thing but swinging your big hoof at someone who still has the ball in his arms at the bottom of a ruck is just stupid and dangerous. I suppose he feels like he has to take risks to make an impact considering that he doesn't get much game time, but that's just not on.

  • cheyanqui
    7:36 PM 03/12/2014

    So is the difference between two and three weeks is being French?


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