Siale Piutau handed three-match ban for punch

Date published: September 8 2020

Bristol Bears have suffered a blow after centre Siale Piutau was handed a three-game suspension for punching Worcester’s Andrew Kitchener during Friday’s encounter.

The West Country outfit were on course for a comfortable 36-13 victory when a brawl broke out between the two teams in the 79th minute.

Kitchener and Piutau were the main protagonists and exchanged punches, with the former receiving a red card for his part in the incident.

Bristol’s back was only given a yellow by referee Wayne Barnes but was duly cited following the encounter and will sit out the next three matches.

The Worcester second-row has been handed the same punishment and his availability will be confirmed once the fixture dates for Round 21 of the 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.

“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.”