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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/27/13 - Appeal
Name Julien Bousquet
Club Catalans
Shirt Number 21
Match Catalan v Salford
Competition Super League
Date 09/02/13
Incident considered Dangerous Shoulder Charge in 2nd minute (Fages)
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Law 15.1(a) Detail: Strikes - Strikes with shoulder - Intentional Grade D
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 3-5
Date of Disciplinary Committee 19/02/13
Evidence provided DVD Dismissal Report
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Guilty – appeal against the grading of the charge
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 11 February 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(a) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 2nd minute of the Match. You were dismissed from the field of play by the Match Referee following this incident. In the Panel’s opinion you made intentional late contact with your opponent (Fages) using your shoulder after the ball had been passed and made direct contact with his head. The Panel believed that this conduct was against the spirit of the game and that your conduct had the potential to cause serious injury to your opponent. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade D offence (Strikes – Strikes with hand, arm or shoulder – Intentional). If found to have committed the offence, again in accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is from a 3 to a 5 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Oliver Marns representing Mr Bousquet states that the player and the club feel that this offence is a careless/lower end of reckless offence as opposed to the intentional that the Match Review Panel has pitched the charge. The element of intentional is really apparent to the club and they feel that this has a stigma attached. Unfortunately as well there has been a lot of negative and inaccurate media coverage with regards this incident which the club do not agree with. Mr Marns and Mr Guisset also point out to the Tribunal that the opponent, Mr Fages steps back in to the tackle as any half back would. Mr Bousquet is only 2 metres away however the speed that he is covering means that a collision is almost unavoidable and the incident happens within a fraction of a second. One of the main factors as well, Mr Marns wishes to point the size of the Mr Bousquet against his opponent is considerable with Mr Bousquet standing at 6 foot 5 19 stones against his opponent being 5 foot 8 is a significant difference. Mr Marns states that the injury is very unfortunate suffered by the opponent. Mr Guisset also mentions that if Mr Bousquet wanted to intentionally he would have used his right shoulder as this is his main tackling shoulder.
Decision Guilty to Intentional tackle
Reasons for Decision The committee have viewed this incident carefully and are quite satisfied that this was an intentional act of striking. The committee note that there is a size difference between the player and his opponent however all players have a duty of care to their opponents. The player seems to be keeping an eye on his opponent all the away and in this context whilst it is a split second, context is everything. In this context the committee are quite satisfied that the player could have at the very least changed his tackling technique upon impact.
 
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction No further submissions
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction Clean record. Not in the player’s character to be malicious.
Aggravating Factors Serious injury to the opponent
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision The committee note this is a very serious offence. The player to his credit, despite his inexperience does have a clear record. However the committee note the aggravating factor that his opponent sustained a serious injury and that the great consideration was given to extending the suspension to 5 matches. However the committee have noted that the player has in essence served an entire match having been sent off in the first 2 minutes and feel that the 4 match suspension imposed is correct. The fine of £300 is to stand as well as the forfeiting of the £200 appeal bond.
Suspension 4 matches
Fine £300 (forfeiting of the £200 bond)
Warning