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Wednesday Sep 21, 2016

Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks

Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks
29
Comments

Chris Ashton has been banned for no less than 13 weeks following two biting incidents that took place in the Aviva Premiership this past weekend. The Saracens winger appeared before a RFU disciplinary panel last night, charged with acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

The England winger was cited for allegedly biting Alex Waller of Northampton Saints on not one but two separate occasions, the first happening in the 24th minute and the second a minute later.

Ashton contested both counts but only the second was dismissed, as the independant panel proved that he did indeed commit the first instance of biting.

He was given a 13-week ban, making him free to play again on 19 December 2016.

“Having considered detailed evidence the panel concluded that during the course of a ruck Chris Ashton bit the arm of Alex Waller at a time that Mr Waller was attempting to clear him out,” said Chairman of the panel, Philip Evans QC.

“The panel concluded it was a low-end entry point aggravated by his previous record.”

So while the offence itself in isolation would not have been equal to a 13-week ban, his disciplinary record had a huge bearing on the overall outcome.

Earlier this year Ashton was making his move towards Eddie Jones’ England squad for the Six Nations, only to be banned for raking his fingers across the eyes of Ulster’s Luke Marshall.

While the incident was viewed by many as fairly innocuous and the punishment severe, there will be less sympathy for this one, which looked fairly clear cut.

Alex Waller himself appeared a bit frustrated later in the match, as he got himself yellow carded and perhaps was lucky that the referee’s took their time looking at this one. The word ‘headbutt’ got thrown around a bit, but he was only sinbinned for the dump off the ball.

As for Ashton, England great Will Greenwood reacted to the biting news allegations, comparing him to controversial Italian footballer Mario Balotelli.

29 Comments

  • stroudos
    12:39 PM 27/09/2016

    Dan, you should have warned me/other readers that the video contained an almost intolerable amount of Stuart Barnes.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    3:20 PM 25/09/2016

    Eh, Hartley has previous but he has behaved himself under Jones. Ashton has already been given bans for almost half a year since Jones took the England job. I think there is clearly an off-field issue with Ashton that is keeping him out of the squad.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    2:41 PM 25/09/2016

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXu0GEiDUYc His response is briefly mentioned here: http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/battered-best-accepts-better-team-won-1.569249

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:52 AM 23/09/2016

    Good luck with that! I'm quite sure you won't get distracted and somehow end up in one of the weird sections of youtube. ;) The incident you describe does ring a bell though... My point here though is that Waller's arms was only across Ashton's face because Ashton was in an unusual position. If Ashton was on his feet, Waller would have hit his shoulder to clear him out. As Ashton was rolling about on the floor/other bodies, Waller had to reach down and the only thing available to grapple with was Ashton's face/head/ neck area. I'm saying he was quite entitled to have his arm across the face.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    5:20 PM 22/09/2016

    Yes, he doesn't like to pick people prone to brainfarts like Ashton and Hartl- *tumbleweed* I get that Ashton has been done twice now, but he must also feel very frustrated for not being picked when he's playing so well for Saracens. There is clearly nothing else he can do to get into the side, and it has to hurt.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    5:18 PM 22/09/2016

    I saw a Hartley incident where he got bitten/nibbled, and mid game protested. It was picked up on camera and he was asked about it afterwards. I think he said something along the lines of "well, I shouldn't have had my arm across his face in the first place". I'd love to find the video, will have a look. I may well be wrong about the victim, the crime, and the response. Might be a long search.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    1:53 PM 22/09/2016

    Eddie Jones' decision to omit Ashton from the England squad has justified itself.

    Reply
  • 45678
    1:10 PM 22/09/2016

    I think as an ex saints player, Ashton was likely to be targeted especially since they know his temperament. Equally Ashton should have matured by now

    Reply
  • colombes
    9:35 AM 22/09/2016

    Completly out-of-subject and unlinked But Ugalde eye gouging case will be judged by the LNR commission the 28th.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:17 AM 22/09/2016

    Judging only on the video clip above, so I can't be sure I've got all the context right, but at the start of the video we see Waller fairly contesting a ruck, body in a good position; then there's Ashton, off his feet, lying all over the ruck. I don't suppose he's having any material impact on the contest for possession but it does look like he's being a pain in the arse and slowing down what ought to be quick ball. So for me, what other people are seeing as Waller putting his arm in Ashton's mouth / swinging a forearm into his face / dirtily provoking Ashton, well I see that as Waller simply upping the intensity at the breakdown and working a bit harder to clear a bloke out who's not competing entirely legally. I would even argue that had Ashton been on his feet and contested the ruck fairly, his head wouldn't even have been in that position where it was vulnerable to a forearm to the chin.

    Reply
  • moo
    8:21 AM 22/09/2016

    Same happened between Danny Grewcock and Keven Mealamu. Grewcock was banned and Mealamu given a verbal warning, if I recall.

    Reply
  • mozz87
    10:22 PM 21/09/2016

    I'm obviously biased but I wonder if getting bitten twice shortened Alex Waller's fuse a little bit, seeing how he later overreacted to getting ruffled up a bit at a ruck... Shame about Ashton, I actually like him as a player, abrasive wee sod that he is. But he's just let the red mist take over and made too many silly decisions in the moment.

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    9:52 PM 21/09/2016

    This was a pretty fast citing for something that just happened this weekend. Does anyone know what came of the Mathieu Ugalde eye gouging? That seems way more severe an action to biting (not that biting should be condoned).

    Reply
  • drg
    6:31 PM 21/09/2016

    This is sort of the case in most situations with any sort of aggressor.... it doesn't tend to get highlighted by anyone other than the fans... It's nice to see a common opinion on the matter -"A biter (and other offenders) deserves a ban, but I can reason as to why they did it!"

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    5:27 PM 21/09/2016

    Smile you son of a b-BOOOM!

    Reply
  • 45678
    5:06 PM 21/09/2016

    I don't want to defend Ashton here because biting has no place in the game...... However, it does remind me of the Stephen ferris / Hartley incident a few years back. Ferris intentionally fish hooked Hartley's mouth and then cried like a baby when Hartley bit back. Biting is far from a gentlemanly response, but how do you defend yourself against such dirty provocation? Funny that the original aggressor never gets cited Also need some consistency between hemispheres

    Reply
  • colombes
    4:23 PM 21/09/2016

    ... and scream: "Armageddon" >> extra week ban

    Reply
  • jeroo
    4:20 PM 21/09/2016

    proper lols!

    Reply
  • drg
    3:54 PM 21/09/2016

    I'm not saying he didn't deserve a ban, but your "not technically legal" statement is exactly why he did what he did.... Rucking a player on the ground was part of the game, it then was taken out of the game and is now quite a hotly refereed area. Grappling someone around the head or neck in a ruck is also something which has now been hotly refereed... not in this instance, and so to be fair I don't necessarily blame Ashton for giving a nibble... but I wouldn't do it (that I know of...), and the fact he is punished is totally fair enough... Point in being, biting someone is not technically legal either, but surely being bitten is part and parcel of sticking your arm in someones mouth...?

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:45 PM 21/09/2016

    He's nowhere near the level of Delon Armitage, to be fair.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:45 PM 21/09/2016

    "if you put your bodyparts in somebody's mouth and start pulling, what do you expect will happen" ... basically contains all the key words to my favourite Google searches.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:44 PM 21/09/2016

    Stick a gas canister in his mouth and shoot it with a harpoon gun.

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    2:38 PM 21/09/2016

    A forearm around the neck/chin area is part and parcel of the ruck. Not technically legal, but it happens... usually to players like Ashton. I think the triggering point here is that he didn't protest, he just munched some forearm straight away. I did say a few months ago that Ashton was likely to Suarez someone, it was only a matter of time. His record speaks for itself, nasty cheap dirty stuff and brainfart stupidity... and being yellow carded for not punching Tuilagi back He might be a decent guy off the field, but on it he is a complete and utter footballer.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:56 PM 21/09/2016

    Did anyone see the other bite that was alleged to have happened? It was a bad move by Ashton, it was always going to end up as a ban, however - mitigating circumstances... if you swing a forearm into someones head or face, then you should really expect some sort of reaction. Will Greenwood put it very well I thought. Ashton - like most rugby players, doesn't seem like a bad guy, but when he gets his head in the clouds it all goes really wrong! Hope this somehow gets his head sorted. Stupid stuff and deserved a ban for it, at the end of the day a bite is worth a minimum of 12 weeks... regardless of what happened this was a bite... I don't want to to harp on too much about Franks 'gouge'... but in the same instance regardless of provocation or accidental or anything, a poke is a poke... should enter in at minimum level and go from there... So I think it's harsh on Ashton, but it's also fair enough... players should know where they stand and upholding the laws and holding players accountable will allow them to know where they stand...

    Reply
  • daluaine
    1:50 PM 21/09/2016

    Upper limit for biting is 208 weeks according to BBC. I guess you have to physically need to remove and ingest a limb to get that?

    Reply
  • guy
    1:39 PM 21/09/2016

    I'm not so sure about this one. I wonder if there is any additional footage that gives a better view of what really happens here, Since the commission took 6 hours to reach a verdict, I tend to think this case is not as clear cut as most people like to think. And I have to agree with DanK above: if you put your bodyparts in somebody's mouth and start pulling, what do you expect will happen? All in all 13 weeks is quite harsh IMHO.

    Reply
  • colombes
    1:39 PM 21/09/2016

    "The panel concluded it was a low-end entry point aggravated by his previous record." I wonder what's the high-end entry point? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlIOqypvT-g

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:50 PM 21/09/2016

    I'm all in favour of the ban, in case that wasn't made clear.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:50 PM 21/09/2016

    Stupid from Ashton, but he's got some guy's arm in his mouth and the chap is obviously giving him a bit of a squeeze. I think it would take a hell of a lot of self-control not to bite in that instance.

    Reply


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Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos