Siale Piutau and Andrew Kitchener banned for fist fight

Siale Piutau of Bristol Bears and Andrew Kitchener of Worcester Warriors appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel this evening (Monday, September 7th 2020).

Kitchener was shown a red card by referee Wayne Barnes in the 79th minute of the match between Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears on Friday, September 4th, 2020. Piutau was cited by independent citing commissioner Tony Diprose following the same match. In both cases this was for punching or striking, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12.

Both players accepted the charge against them and were each given a three-match suspension by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Matthew Weaver (chair) with Mitch Read and Chris Skaife. Piutau is free to play again on September 20th, 2020. Kitchener’s return to play date will be confirmed once the fixture dates for round 21 of the Gallagher Premiership are released.

Independent panel chair Matthew Weaver said: “Both players accepted the charge of striking an opponent. On consideration of all of the facts, with the benefit of hearing directly from both players and reviewing the video footage, the panel determined that the mandatory mid-range entry point of six weeks should apply.

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“There were no aggravating factors applied to either sanction. Both players had accepted the charges and apologised for their actions. Mr Kitchener has a clean disciplinary record and, whilst warned about his conduct immediately after receiving the red card, was allowed full mitigation of 50%. He will miss the next three games for Worcester Warriors.

“Mr Piutau has one matter on his record from June 2013 which was for a similar offence. On balance however, given the time between the two incidents, the panel decided that this should not prevent him from receiving maximum mitigation and he was also suspended for three matches.”

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