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Wednesday Mar 10, 2021

Thorley and Hepetema suspended after dismissals for upright, dangerous tackles

Gloucester winger Ollie Thorley and London Irish centre Terrence Hepetema have been handed suspensions after being sent off last weekend.

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Thorley was dismissed by referee Matthew Carley in the 28th minute of Gloucester’s 20-19 Gallagher Premiership victory at Wasps for a dangerous tackle on home full-back Rob Miller.

England international Thorley contested the charge, but it was upheld by an online independent disciplinary panel who gave him a four-week suspension. He is free to play again on April 6.

The panel said: “Having considered all of the evidence alongside helpful and extensive submissions from both parties the panel decided that the red card issued by the referee should be upheld.

“Because this incident involved contact with the head, the panel was required by the regulations to impose at least a mid-range entry point of six weeks.

“The panel then applied the maximum amount of mitigation available, given the player had contested the red card.”

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In the case of London Irish centre Hepetema, he was sent off by Wayne Barnes in the 59th minute of Irish’s 33-32 Premiership defeat at Leicester for a dangerous tackle on Tigers winger Kobus Van Wyk.

He accepted the charge and can play again on March 30 after serving a three-week suspension.

“The player and the club gave evidence to the panel in relation to the mechanics of the tackle,” the panel said.

“Having considered this evidence and having examined the footage carefully, the panel found that the player’s action was a reckless one rather than intentional.

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“However, in opting to make this type of tackle, he ran the risk that the action might result in an act of foul play occurring. There was no suggestion that the player had deliberately intended to make contact with the opposition player’s head.

“Having considered these aspects very carefully, the panel determined that a mid-range starting point of six weeks was appropriate.

“The player’s acceptance of the charge, clean record and other mitigating factors allowed the panel to apply the full 50 per cent mitigation.”

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