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Wednesday Oct 25, 2017

Dylan Hartley cleared to play after bizarre encounter with Rabah Slimani

Dylan Hartley cleared to play after bizarre encounter with Rabah Slimani
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Dylan Hartley has been cleared to play following a citing for a ‘reckless act’ that sore his flailing hand connect with the face of Clermont prop Rabah Slimani during a European Champions Cup match on Saturday. Northampton Saints have released a scathing statement on the citing.

Hartley will be free to play in England’s upcoming November Tests after a disciplinary committee ruled that the alleged strike to the nose of Slimani was not worthy of a red card.

Referee Ben Whitehouse, who took a huge amount of criticism for his handling of an incident-littered encounter, showed Hartley a yellow card, ruling that the strike was “reckless but not intentional”.

The disciplinary committee saw it in a similar light, stating the following:

“The disciplinary committee found that Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face, however the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card,” EPCR said in a statement.

“The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Hartley is free to play.”

England face Argentina on 11 November, Australia on 18 November and Samoa on 25 November.

‘UNJUSTIFIED’

Northampton Saints have issued the following statement in response to the outcome of the citing.

“The decision to cite Dylan from Saturday’s game against Clermont was unjustified,” said Saints’ director of rugby Jim Mallinder. “This was a run-of-the-mill rugby incident during a high intensity game of European rugby.

“Anyone who watched the game could see that this was completely accidental – a misjudgement at a clear–out, plain and simple. When we should be preparing for a crucial league game against Wasps this Saturday, we have instead been distracted by what we believe was an unwarranted judicial hearing.

“Citings like this do beg the question of whether Dylan is being singled out for what has happened in the past rather than being judged solely on Saturday’s game.”

Despite being captain of England, Hartley has one of the worst disciplinary records of any professional player currently playing the game. His career total sanctions sit around 60 weeks.


Hartley’s record, as of two year’s ago

‘RUGBY IS RUGBY’

This incident, however, seems to have been blown out of proportion. When asked if it should have been a sending off, opposition hooker Benjamin Kayser said:

“Red? No come on. Rugby is rugby. If you start by saying that any hit on the head is a red card then there is going to be 25 red cards a game.

“I think it has to be sanctioned because obviously a penalty is a penalty and if he deserved a yellow it is a yellow. But I think we need to keep on working in a positive and constructive way.

“The last thing that we want is to go out and start playing on the rules and to start saying ‘it was a cheap shot’. We are not football. We are just here to play hard and to keep on going. I don’t think it was a red card, just a yellow.

“It is a game where we are lucky enough where we can actually speak to the refs and can actually have decent relations and exchange with one another. There is nothing better than a ref turning around and maybe ask the opposition captain: ‘do you really think he deserved red?’ Most of the guys would be like ‘listen, it is nothing.’ We are not idiots and we are not cheats.”

After coming back on the field, Hartley received a cheapshot from Slimani, seemingly as some form of retribution for what had happened earlier. He too received his marching orders.

This was also the game that saw Camille Lopez break his leg, and Morgan Parra return to the field after being knocked out. Eventful.

credit: rugbypass/rawrugby

15 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    Nuts...

    Reply
  •  luc
    luc

    Whaat? Come on, this is to the face and voluntary. You see it so clearly at 0:19-0:21, he arms for a hit by stretching his arm out, while in the movement of going down instead of clearing out. It's sneaky, and to be cynical, it's a perfectly executed move - but it's there and clearly intentional.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Hartley had already played for England Saxons and the U-21s prior to his longest ban.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    funny, that's incorrect

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    yes! my point 2 was your point 6. No idea how that was missed. I'm not accusing the French of a conspiracy. I fully expect that the medical team did the HIA correctly. The problem is that under the guidelines the ref should have refused to let him back on becuase the HIA should never have taken place. If the ref thinks a player is knocked out then he has to suspect a concussion and therefore the HIA is irrelevant. A player has to be permanently removed from play. The rules/guidelines/assignment of responsibility are rubbish and the authorities are just covering their own backs

    Reply
  •  m-meuble
    m-meuble

    Funny. He got his longest ban when he was unsure to be a kiwi or a rosbeef. Now that he has picked up the good side, commissionners have been nice to him.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    6 Saint try incorrectly allowed for Christian Day foot in touch; Agree on the rest, apart Parra's case Concerning "the EPRC try to cover it up with a shoddy report absolving everyone of blame", please let the frenchs the conspiracy theory, we're better and more credible with it ;)

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Not surprising, nor annoyed to see Hartley cleared, as it was very difficult to describe as intentional or accidental. Only Hartley knows. Slimani shoulder "revenge" should have been a red card, i don't even understand why he did it, regarding all the tv camera angles. Much more reserved on Parra case, as he didn't lose consciousness contrary to the ref comments. But regarding his catastrophic performance, it's quite coherent with every others incidents. As for the french or english "double-lecture", you just have to listen to these commentators to understand that an opinion should always stay... an opinion.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Not being English nor French I'd say my neutral stance is the tie breaker then...

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    the biggest BS about this whole thing is that the reason Slimani didn't get cited is because Hartley is a hard bastard who just gets on with the job. You can see he clocked a bit hit on his head from Slimani and he shrugs it off. If Slimani had done that ito Pape, then he would have been sent of for sure.....

    Reply
  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    funny how on the other side of the channel, they have exactly the opposite view... Looks like neither sides will ever be objective when english and french are playing each other.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    I think the citing commissioner must have got Hartley and Slimani's names mixed up when he submitted his recommendation...... Its a complete joke. An absolute farce. The whole match was. Multiple decisions made incorrectly; 1 Saints try incorrectly ruled out; 2 a missed very obvious foot in touch; 3 the Parra incident; 4 Hartley's wasn't even a yellow. You can see that his head/eyes are far past slimani's head when slimanis head pops up. 5. Slimani not getting a red. Deliberate forearm to hartleys head. Its not even debateable. Then to cap it off, the EPRC try to cover it up with a shoddy report absolving everyone of blame for the Parra incident and then the citing commisioner gets the wrong guy!

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    I fully understand why there has been a crackdown on any sort of contact involving the head, but I feel that it's gotten so strict that refs are ignoring (or being encouraged to ignore) things that players simply have no control over. It's as though the fact that this is a full blown contact sport that is played at an insane intensity and as a result, shit happens, is overlooked. A run-of-the-mill rugby incident, as said in the statement. I really don't see what Hartley could have done here.

    Reply
  •  tphillipsstl
    tphillipsstl

    I am no fan of Dylan Hartley. I think his previous record speaks for himself. But both of these decisions are ridiculous. The first was certainly diving over, but nothing in the contact to Slimani's face. And the second play was so clearly a red card, I can't in a millions years imagine why they would give yellow.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm not even sure you can call it reckless??? To me this is the same as that video a while ago of a referee putting his arm up to award a penalty or scrum or something and hitting a player behind him with his arm...red card the referee? Yellow card? Sanction? Get up and go...

    Reply

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Dylan Hartley cleared to play after bizarre encounter with Rabah Slimani | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos