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Wednesday Dec 19, 2018

Rory Kockott suspended after fingers ruled to have made contact with eye area of Munster flanker

Castres Olympique scrum half Rory Kockott faced a disciplinary hearing in Paris today after he was cited for making contact with the eye and/or eye area of Munster flanker Chris Cloete when the two sides met in the Heineken Champions Cup round 4 match at the weekend. 

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French international Kockott and Castres hooker Marc-Antoine Rallier were both the target of much angst from Munster fans and former players after both committed acts that left a sour taste after the contest.

While Rallier was yellow carded at the time, he has now also been suspended. More details on that lower down the page.

Kockott was not sanctioned at the time, as referee Wayne Barnes referred briefly to his TMO but then explained that nothing could be found on video (the incident happened at least three minutes before they checked), so said the citing commissioners would deal with it.

And deal with it they have, as Kockott was today suspended after he was ruled to have contravened Law 9.12, specifically for contact with the eye area (not the eye), as detailed below.

Law 9.12 – Contact with the eye
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points – Low end: 12 weeks; Mid-range: 18 weeks; Top end: 24 to 208 weeks

Law 9.12 – Contact with the eye area
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points – Low end: 4 weeks; Mid-range: 8 weeks; Top end: 12 to 52 weeks

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An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Pamela Woodman (Scotland), Chair, Anthony Davies (England) and Leon Lloyd (England), heard evidence and submissions from Kockott, who pleaded guilty to the charge of making contact with the eye area, from the Castres Olympique Managing Director, Matthias Rolland, from the Castres Olympique legal representative, Clément Germain, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint in that it warranted a red card and found that Kockott had made contact with Cloete’s eye area. It was decided that the act of foul play was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Due to the player’s guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.

Kockott is free to play on Monday, 7 January 2019, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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You can see the incident briefly below, with more coverage of all incidents in our original story.

Marc-Antoine Rallier suspension

The Castres Olympique replacement hooker, Marc-Antoine Rallier, has been suspended for one week following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris today.

Rallier was cited by the match Citing Commissioner for tackling the Munster wing forward, Peter O’Mahony, dangerously in the 69th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 – Dangerous tackling
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 carries the following sanction entry points – Low end: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Pamela Woodman (Scotland), Chair, Anthony Davies (England) and Leon Lloyd (England), heard evidence and submissions from Rallier, who pleaded guilty to the charge, from the Castres Olympique Managing Director, Matthias Rolland, from the Castres Olympique legal representative, Clément Germain, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the complaint in that it warranted a red card and found that the act of foul play was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors and due to the player’s guilty plea and clear disciplinary record, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by the maximum allowable of 50% before imposing a one-week suspension.

Rallier is free to play on Monday, 24 December, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Elsewhere, Lyon second rower Etienne Oosthuizen has been suspended for three weeks after he was ruled to have struck Adam Hastings in the face, contravening Law 9.12 – Striking with the arm

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

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