Law bites for hooker Hartley

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 00:00
Large hartley throws630 Large cole hartley corbisiero 630

England hooker Dylan Hartley has been banned for eight weeks after being found guilty of biting Ireland flank Stephen Ferris in their Six Nations showdown at Twickenham.

England hooker Dylan Hartley has been banned for eight weeks after being found guilty of biting Ireland flank Stephen Ferris in their Six Nations showdown at Twickenham.

The length of the ban means the Northampton Saints captain will  crucially be available for England's three-Test tour of South Africa in June.

Hartley was cited after a disciplinary panel found that he had contravened IRB Law 10.4(m) "acts contrary to good sportsmanship".

The panel heard evidence from Ferris, via video link, as well as Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder and England forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

In upholding the citing for foul play, the panel, chaired by Roger Morris of Wales, decided the offence merited a low entry point in the IRB's table of sanctions and allowed mitigation of four weeks.

A biting offence carries a low-end entry point of a 12-week suspension, with 18 weeks for mid-range and 24-plus weeks at the top end.

The 25-year-old New Zealand-born Hartley is free to play again on May 14 and he has the right of appeal.

Hartley said: "I am disappointed by the result and I will wait for the written judgment as to how the panel came to their conclusion. I now have to put it behind me and focus on supporting Saints in training and off the field."

Rowntree commented: "It is unfortunate for Dylan and Northampton, especially as he was in good form during the Six Nations, and he has developed as a player and a leader. However, we are looking forward to him being available for the tour to South Africa."

Ferris was heard accusing an England player of biting during the match.

Biting is a red card offence but as neither referee Nigel Owens nor his touch judges saw the incident, no action was taken during the game.

Owens, in a conversation recorded on his microphone in the 28th minute, told England captain Chris Robshaw and Ireland skipper Rory Best: "I have an accusation of biting, a clear mark on the finger.

"I did not see something... It could be dealt with afterwards."

There had been speculation the 39-times capped Hartley could be sidelined for a lot longer than two months, given his 26-week ban for gouging in 2007.

Back then he was punished for making contact with the eye areas of Wasps duo Jonny O'Connor and James Haskell during an English Premiership match.

However, it is believed that given the gap between the gouging incidents and this offence, the panel saw no need to link the two in any way.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0
RELATED ARTICLES