Dean Richards handed ban following referee comments - Ruck

Dean Richards handed ban following referee comments

Dean Richards of Newcastle Falcons appeared before a virtual independent disciplinary panel yesterday evening (Wednesday February 23, 2022). The panel comprised Martin Picton (chair) with Gareth Graham and Philip Davies.

Richards was charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game contrary to RFU Rule 5.12, relating to his comments in post-match media interviews that undermined the authority and questioned the integrity of the match official following the Newcastle Falcons versus Exeter Chiefs game on February 20.

Richards received a three-week ban from any match-day involvement. He will miss the following fixtures and is also required to do a presentation to his club and a local school or grassroots club about the need for respect for match officials:

26.02 v Bath Rugby

04.03 v Harlequins

12.03 v Saracens

Panel chair, Martin Picton said: “The Panel concluded that the offence was to be dealt with as one arising from disrespect of the authority of a match official and rejected the submission that the words spoken by Dean Richards should be categorised as verbal abuse of the referee.”

The Falcons, who definitely did get a hard time from the officials, saw referee Christophe Ridley send off Callum Chick on his 99th appearances for the club.

“Josh Hodge clearly dropped his height, and the problem is that referees and TMOs are trying to get a quick decision rather than the right decision,” said Richards. “It was a yellow card. You can’t make such a big decision in such a crucial game as quickly as that. It’s really poor. I’ve spoken to [Exeter head coach] Rob Baxter and he agrees with me. We’d just scored and if we’d 15 men we may have competed better.”

“We didn’t get the rub of the green from the officials. Some of the boys are in the changing rooms saying some of the decisions are questionable, some boys are actually being a bit more vocal than that,” Richards said.

“Adam Brocklebank gets penalised in a scrum when their tighthead quiet clearly goes to the floor and you just think what the hell is going on here.

“There is obviously a bit of favouritism in some shape or form or they don’t know what they are doing. The boys just don’t know what is happening from one week to the next with some of the officiating. It is really disappointing.”

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