Munster’s Arno Botha Suspended Following Late Red Card In Saracens Win


Munster back-row forward Arno Botha has been handed a three-week ban after he was handed a late red card in the Irish province’s Champions Cup win over Saracens last weekend.

The South African was sent off by referee Romain Poite in the 81st minute of the match for a fend on Saracens replacement Nick Tompkins with his arm in contravention of Law 9.12.

Law 9.12 Striking with the arm
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 relating to striking with the arm carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee considered imagery of the incident and heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Botha, who accepted the red card decision, from Munster Rugby’s legal representative, Pat Barriscale, from the Munster Rugby Team Manager, Niall O’Donovan, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the red card decision finding that the act of foul play was reckless. As contact to the head or neck carries a minimum mandatory mid-range sanction, according to World Rugby’s regulations, six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and timely expression of remorse, the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a three-week suspension. Botha is free to play on Monday, 30 December 2019

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