Head-stomping prop out of Six Nations opener

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 20:38

DISCIPLINARY UPDATES: Scotland prop Simon Berghan dealt a blow to his country's hopes of beating Wales in their Six Nations opener on February 3 in Cardiff.

He was slapped with a six-week suspension on Thursday.

It is one of three disciplinary results that all resulted in bans.

Johan Meyer of Zebre was banned for one week and Steffan Evans of Scarlets was banned for four weeks.

The 27-year-old New Zealand-born Edinburgh star, Berghan, started in Scotland's last Test - a 53-24 thrashing of Australia in November.

He was found guilty by a Pro14 disciplinary committee of stamping on Glasgow's Fraser Brown in last weekend's match.

Berghan, who made his Test debut for his adopted country in the Six Nations match with France earlier this year, was sent off for the offence which took place inside six minutes.

The committee adjudged Berghan 'guilty of a stamping movement whereby the boot made contact with the head of a player who was vulnerable at the point of the incident'.

Berghan, though, can count himself lucky as he could have received a maximum ban of 12 weeks.

However, the committee gave him credit for his 'good record, his apology to the victim, the fact that no serious injury had occurred and the manner in which he and his club met the case'.

Berghan, who qualified to play for Scotland through his Scottish grandfather, will be eligible to play on Sunday, February 4 - the day after Scotland’s opening match with Wales in the Six Nations.

* Meanwhile Meyer faced a disciplinary hearing to consider the red-card decision against the player resulting from the Pro14 Round 11 fixture against Benetton on December 23.

The player was shown a red card by referee Marius Mitrea under Law 10.4 (c) – Kicking. A player must not kick an opponent.

The Hearing Committee, comprising of Michael Coghlan (Chairman), George Spotswood & Donal Courtney (all Ireland), concluded that the Player's actions merited a red card pursuant to a breach of Law 10.4 (c) - Kicking.

The entry point was considered low-end, which carries a four-week suspension.

The player's clean record throughout his professional career until the present incident of itself merited a reduction of 50 percent.

Moreover, there was provocation on the part of the victim. However, notwithstanding this, the retaliation was restrained to the extent that the kick was not one of such velocity as was likely to cause injury.

The committee also took into account the letter of the recommendation from the victim (Benetton No.5 Dean Budd) as regards the incident.

Notwithstanding the full mitigation to be applied (50 percent) the committee considered a two-week suspension to be disproportionate and duly reduced the sanction to one week.

As a result, the Player is free to play from midnight on December 31.

The player has the right to appeal.

* Evans face a disciplinary hearing to consider the red-card decision against him resulting from the Round 11 fixture against Ospreys on December 26.

The player was shown a red card by referee Ian Davies under Law 10.4 (i) – Tackling the jumper in the air. A player must not tackle nor tap, push or pull the foot or feet of an opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play.

The disciplinary panel, comprising of Tommy Dalton (Chairman), George Spotswood & Donal Courtney (all Ireland), concluded that the player's actions merited a mid-range entry point, which carries an eight-week suspension.

In making this decision the panel took into account all of the circumstances, including the vulnerability of the player and the seriousness of the injury sustained.

The ban was reduced after full mitigation of 50 percent was applied having taken into account the player's conduct throughout the process, his good character and the presentation of his defence to the disciplinary panel.

As a result, the player has been banned for a period of four weeks. He is free to play from midnight on Sunday, January 21.

The player was reminded of his right to appeal.

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