Two-week ban for Zebre’s Odiete

Date published: December 18 2014

Zebre replacement wing David Odiete, has been suspended for two weeks following his sending off against Gloucester on Saturday.

Referee Neil Paterson gave Odiete – who appeared before an independent Disciplinary Hearing – his marching orders in the 39th minute of the Pool Five Challenge Cup game at Stadio XXV Aprile for an alleged dangerous challenge on Gloucester’sd full-back, Stevie McColl (No 15).

Law 10.4 (i) Tackling the jumper in the air. A player must not tackle, tap, push or pull an opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play.
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (i) carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: 3 weeks; Mid-Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 12 to 52 weeks.

The independent Judicial Officer, Jeremy Summers (England), heard evidence from Odiete, who pleaded guilty to the offence, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer.

In upholding the red card decision, the Judicial Officer found that Odiete had committed a reckless act. He concluded that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three weeks as the appropriate entry point.

As there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s clean disciplinary record, guilty plea and his exemplary conduct at the hearing, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of one week and imposed a suspension of two weeks.

Odiete is free to play on Monday, 29 December. Both EPCR and the player have the right to appeal the decision.