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High tackle Yellow card should have been Red, results in suspension for Gabriel Oghre

BY Grant Constable  ·  Wednesday Oct 13, 2021

Wasps replacement hooker Gabriel Oghre will be out of rugby for three weeks after he was cited and subsequently banned for a dangerous tackle he made against Northampton Saints on Sunday.

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Oghre was only shown a yellow card at the time by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys but a citing arose from independent citing commissioner Paul Hull following the match.

He then appeared before an independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred after a line out as scrumhalf Alex Mitchell ran laterally before being taken high by Oghre.

As the official citing report explained:

“Oghre starts in a high upright position and finishes in an upright high position with clear sight of Mitchell, making direct contact with his arm to Mitchell’s head (his arm might have slightly brushed the ball on the way through but it didn’t change the direction of his arm).

“It is a swinging arm and has force but there was no obvious injury, as Mitchell does not receive any treatment and plays on. Mitchell throughout his carry doesn’t dip or lower his height into the tackle. The TMO (Rowan Kitt) communicates into the Referee (Craig Maxwell-Keys) to review the high tackle.

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“In my opinion, there is no mitigation to bring this high dangerous tackle down from red, there is a swinging arm contact direct to the head, there is force and Oghre has clear sight and is upright and high throughout the whole tackle process with no lowering of height by Mitchell; with all these details and following the ‘Head Contact Process’, this is a red card offence and I have awarded a full citing.”

The Panel had the opportunity to view video footage of the incident at full speed, and in slow motion, from a number of angles. The incident was as described by the Citing Commissioner.

The citing was for dangerous tackling contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13.

Oghre accepted the charge and was given a three match suspension by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Gareth Graham (chair) with Olly Kohn and Leon Lloyd. He is free to play again on 2 November 2021.

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He will miss the following Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches:

1. Wasps v Exeter Chiefs (16 October)
2. Saracens v Wasps (24 October)
3. Bath Rugby v Wasps (30 October)*

*If the player applies to World Rugby for a Coaching Intervention and completes the intervention to the satisfaction of World Rugby then his suspension will be two matches.

You can view the incident in the official match highlights video below.

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