Scotland international lock Nathan Hines has received a six-week ban for stamping on an opponent, while Glasgow winger Tommy Seymour has been banned for a week for a ‘tip tackle’ and will miss his team’s vital Heineken Cup clash against Ulster at Scotstoun tonight.
Clermont Auvergne forward Hines, who is now retired from Test rugby, was cited by match commissioner John Cole for stamping on Scarlets wing Morgan Stoddart during a Heineken Cup game last Saturday. Hines, who appeared before independent judicial officer Simon Thomas at a hearing in Dublin yesterday, pleaded not guilty to the offence.
But in a statement, European Rugby Cup said Thomas upheld the citing complaint and found that Hines had “stamped on his opponent and had connected on more than one occasion”.
Thomas decided the offence warranted a mid-range entry point of a five-week suspension, but he added a week due to 35-year-old Hines’ poor disciplinary record. He will miss Clermont’s Heineken Cup trip to Exeter tomorrow, and cannot play again until 26 November, although he will be available for Clermont’s Pool 5 clashes against holders Leinster in December.
Hines won 77 Scotland caps before calling time on his international career last year. He also toured South Africa with the 2009 British and Irish Lions.
Wales international Stoddart, meanwhile, has been cleared to continue playing following his sending-off against Clermont. Stoddart was shown an automatic red card by Irish referee Peter Fitzgibbon after receiving two yellows in a game his team lost 49-16 at Stade Marcel Michelin.
But ERC independent judicial officer Anthony Davies, who considered the matter by means of written submissions, decided the red card was sufficient punishment, tournament organisers announced.
Glasgow wing Seymour, though, has been banned for a week and will miss be sidelined for the visit of Ulster tonight. Byron McGuigan will take his place.
Seymour was cited by match commissioner Yves Thieffine for a dangerous ‘tip tackle’ on Northampton’s Vasily Artemyev during a Pool Four fixture last Sunday. He pleaded not guilty to foul play at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin, but Thomas upheld the citing complaint.
ERC said: “The judicial officer upheld the citing complaint and employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(j), he decided that the offence warranted a low-end entry point of four weeks. However, when considering the very specific circumstances of the tackle, the judicial officer felt that a four-week suspension would be ‘wholly disproportionate’. Accordingly, and based on the presence of a number of mitigating factors, including Seymour’s clean record, the judicial officer reduced the sanction to a one-week suspension.”
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