Second rower Yoann Maestri was issued with a Citing Commissioner warning following this off the ball bump on Johnny Sexton during France’s 10-9 victory over Ireland in Paris on Saturday. Sexton played on but was visibly shaken and needed a moment.
Wide angle TV replays picked up the incident but as was insinuated by the BBC commentary, the French producers weren’t too keen on showing anything else.
The independent citing commissioner reported that Maestri has used his shoulder when making contact with Leinster flyhalf Sexton, resulting in him being knocked off his feet.
The commissioner concluded that the 120kg Maestri had infringed World Rugby’s laws of the game but his actions fell ‘just short of’ warranting a red card.
Therefore he is free to play in France’s next Six Nations match, against Wales next Friday.
When a player receives three yellow cards and/or Citing Commissioner Warnings in matches during the championship, that will give rise to a ‘totting up’ case, to be heard by a Disciplinary Committee.
The Disciplinary Committee will consider whether the player is able to demonstrate that one or more of the yellow cards/Citing Commissioner Warnings were wrongly issued to him, and (if the player is not able to demonstrate such matters) what sanctions should be imposed.
Do you think Maestri got off lightly, or was there nothing in this?