Matthews’ gouging citing dismissed

Date published: December 18 2014

A citing complaint against Charlie Matthews of Harlequins, following an incident during his club’s Champions Cup Round 4 match against Leinster, was dismissed at a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

Matthews was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Stefano Marrama (Italy), for allegedly making contact with the eye area of the Leinster flanker, Dominic Ryan, in the 77th minute of the Pool 2 game at the Aviva Stadium in contravention of Law 10.4 (m). He was shown a yellow card following the incident by referee, Romain Poite.

Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship – A player must not make contact with the eye(s) or eye area of an opponent under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m).

Making contact with the eye(s) or eye area of an opponent, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 12 weeks; Mid-Range: 18 weeks; Top End: 24 to 52 weeks.

The independent Judicial Officer, Rod McKenzie (Scotland), studied footage of the incident, and heard evidence from Matthews, who pleaded not guilty to the alleged offence, from Harlequins director of rugby, Conor O’Shea, and from EPCR’s Disciplinary Officer.

Following a review which also included evidence from Dominic Ryan in which he stated that he had not felt any contact with his eye area, the Judicial Officer was not satisfied that Matthews had committed an act of foul play and dismissed the citing complaint.