Tuesday Mar 15, 2016 Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes

Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes
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Wales prop Tomas Francis has been cited for the incident that had some fans and pundits up in arms during the Six Nations clash against England on Saturday. Francis appeared to make contact with the eyes of Dan Cole, but he was only penalised due to lack of evidence.

UPDATE: Francis has been banned for eight weeks for ‘recklessly making contact with the eye or eye area’. More info to follow

After referee Craig Joubert and his TMO chose to not card the prop due to insufficient camera angles, the Independent Citing Commissioner cited Francis for allegedly making contact with the eyes or eye area of Cole under Law 10.4 (m) – Acts Contrary to Good Sportsmanship.

As mentioned in commentary, contact with the eyes cannot be forgiven but it does appear that the main contact may have been a scraping motion across the nose, which we can possibly assume is what Cole was grimacing at. The finger did seem to at least touch one corner of the eye though.

The Disciplinary hearing for Francis will be held later this week.

The RTE panel in the video below were incensed however, feeling that Francis was definitely guilty and not only will he be in for a hefty ban, but they felt it was poorly handled by the officials.

England coach Eddie Jones said that there was ‘clearly a finger put in the eye’ but Wales assistant coach Rob Howley wasn’t convinced, saying that Francis was trying to clear someone out.

“When you look at it, his eyes are closed and I don’t think he knows what he’s doing,” said Howley.

What do you think, based on the one camera angle that was shown?

credit: bbc/itv/rte

15 Comments

  •  boybath
    boybath

    Although I think the ref bottled it and gave a hospital pass - Refs do get things wrong - I hope he will be spoken to in private by the assessor

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Sounds like they bottled it...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I think it's 'dos cervesas por favor'... But I have been wrong once before...

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Thanks Vladimir, I'm not that au fait with French. What's the French for au fait?

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    The whole thing about the TMO telling the ref that they only had 1 angle to show didn't help. I'm not even sure how that is relevant when you can clearly see foul play by Francis from that 1 angle, which was very good quality and gave them both a clear view of the incident.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Did I say he deserved it? No. Was Murray's decision to hold onto the ball a factor in him being kicked in the head? Yes. The whole point is that Brown had a legitimate reason to be attempting to kick the ball away from a ruck, whereas Francis didn't have a legitimate reason to have his hands in Cole's eyes, which they clearly were on the replay. I can say it was unfortunate but justified, or vice versa, as they are 2 different events.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    This was dealt with very poorly. I think Eddie-g may have mentioned it in a previous comment (?), either Francis' actions were accidental = no ban, no sanction, perhaps a warning to be careful as all players should be aware how unfavourable these incidents are, OR: On purpose = red card, ban, etc etc... You can't really penalise someone for gouging or contact near the eyes, then ban him. The decision here totally undermines the referees decision and honestly highlights how much of a ballsup the process has become. Clearly World Rugby need to sanction the referee for not making the correct decision on the spot...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Attoub and Dupuy played in a game where Ferris(?) was clearly targeted.... Clear targeting like that in itself is disgusting.

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    don't call me Frenchie boy though.....haha

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Sempere was supposedly convicted based on photographic evidence (which to be honest can look more damning than video) and bruises around the eyes of Ayerza. He got 15 weeks. Gabrillagues also got 8 weeks but pleaded guilty, whereas Sempere didn't. Dan (below) suggests that everyone 'knows' France have a problem. Now I'm not sure that goes for all of France but it is quite extraordinairy that currently 3 players of the same club (Stade) have been suspended fot this kind of foul play. Back in 2009 there was Dupuy (also Stade) who was sentenced to 24 weeks and in 2010 Attoub (also Stade) got 70 weeks. So statistically the average sentence is getting lower ;-)

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Not sure how Brown's was worse. It was unfortunate but he was clearly attempting to kick the ball away while Murray was illegally holding on. Had Murray released it, Brown would have kicked it clear the first time. In comparison, Francis has no business having his hands in Cole's face, especially in the eye region, which they clearly are. The 8 week ban he has received seems to support that. In several years of rugby I have never had my hands near anyone else's eyes, or have anyone else's hands near my own.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I know, I know. I'm most people's hero. It's surely down the fact that everyone 'knows' France has a problem with off-the-ball violence. All further acts of violence get seen as part of a wider malaise (what's the French word for malaise?) and the guilty party punished accordingly. I do still believe that France has a bit more unpleasantness of this type than many other countries, but I don't think that should be reflected in the citing system.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    If he was French he'd be looking at a much longer ban. No consistency.

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Just heard from news desk that the ban is confirmed as 8 weeks - to 9th May. No further details yet.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    It was poorly handled by the officials - the TMO mainly - because they simply split the difference by awarding a penalty only. It was either a red card or nothing. As ever, when you slow this right down, it looks bad. But at full speed, I'm not so sure. At no point does Francis appear to look at Dan Coles' face. It's a pretty standard ruck entry, and maybe he's just looking for something to grab onto. But it's also a slightly weird hand motion - I mean, what's going on with the fingers there? He clearly does make contact with the face, and if the suits decide it was deliberate, then he's in a lot of trouble, regardless of how much contact there was with the eye. But I'm not entirely convinced it was deliberate or reckless... though if past cases are anything to go by, the suits have a very low threshold for what might be deemed reckless. Anyway, the officials got it wrong, and the wait now is to find out how.

    Reply

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Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes | RugbyDump