RFU Disciplinary Hearing | Saracens forward handed hefty ban

Joshua Ibuanokpe of Saracens RFC appeared before an Independent Disciplinary Panel in London on Tuesday 15 October 2019 at 18.30.  He was charged with striking with head, contrary to Law 9.12.

The strike to the Harlequins RFC player took place in the second half of the match on 12th October 2019.

Ibuanokpe was given a five-week suspension by the panel, ending 18 November, and is free to play on 19 November 2019.

Panel chair Matthew Weaver said: “The panel accepted the player’s explanation that his sole focus was on trying to disrupt the ruck. The player submitted that he had not deliberately made contact with the head of Chris Robshaw but any contact made had been as a result of getting ‘over excited’ having successfully counter-rucked moments before. The panel agreed with this assessment of the incident.

“Contact was made with the head of the player to Chris Robshaw’s head/neck and as such the mandatory mid-range entry point applied. Having agreed that his actions were reckless and caused no injury, it was not necessary to consider a top end starting point.

“The player accepted the charge, has a clear disciplinary record, was remorseful for the impact of his action and apologised. The club spoke of the positive impression he had made on the club since joining this season.”

The panel found no reason to not award the maximum mitigation of 50% reducing the period of suspension to five weeks.

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