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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/233/13
Name Francis Meli
Club St Helens
Shirt Number 5
Match Hull KR v St Helens
Competition Challenge Cup
Date 20/04/13
Incident considered High tackle in 32nd minute (Hall)
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule: 15.1(b) Detail: High Tackle – Intentional – stiff arm tackle – no attempt to tackle legitimately – violent Grade E
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 4-8
Date of Disciplinary Committee 23/04/13
Evidence provided DVD Dismissal Report
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 22 April 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(b), Behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of the game, during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 32nd minute of the Match. You were dismissed by the Match Referee during this incident. In the panel’s opinion you used a dangerous swinging arm which made direct contact with the head of an opponent (Hall). The Panel believed that you had the full body of your opponent to aim at and that your tackle had the potential to cause your opponent serious injury. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade E offence (When tackling or attempting to tackle makes contact with the head or neck of an opponent – intentional – stiff arm tackle – no attempt to tackle legitimately - violent). If found to have committed the offence, again in accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is a suspension of 4-8 matches. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable. Under the RFL Disciplinary Guidelines you are ineligible to take an Early Guilty Plea due to the seriousness of the charge.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Mike Rush, CEO speaking on behalf of the player who is unable to attend due to a medical appointment. Mr Rush speaking on behalf of the player pleads guilty to the offence. In mitigation for the offence Mr Rush does not believe that the offence warrants the intentional charge it has been given. Mr Rush believes it is a very reckless and questions the wording in the charge. The opponent does slightly dip when evading the player. Mr Rush states the club and the player is not trying to get out of really bad act but the player is not a malicious player and is genuinely remorseful for his actions.
Decision Guilty plea
Reasons for Decision
 
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction No additional submissions
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction Really good disciplinary record. Player is remorseful for his actions and is not malicious player. Player was off the pitch for 50 minutes of an important game.
Aggravating Factors Potential for serious injury
Mitigating Factors Good disciplinary record
Reasons for Decision The committee are no doubt this was a serious act of misconduct and had the potential for serious injury which thankfully did not occur. The committee give the player credit for admitting guilt to a very reckless tackle. The player does have an excellent disciplinary record over a 15 year first grade career in Super League and the NRL and feel that a 4 match suspension and a £300 is appropriate in this in instance.
Suspension 4 matches
Fine £300
Warning