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Disciplinary Item


Case Number ON/348/13
Name Matt Sarsfield
Club Swinton
Shirt Number 32
Match Swinton v Crusaders
Competition Northern Rail Cup
Date 19/05/13
Incident considered Fighting in 62nd minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule: 15.1(a) Detail – Punching – Reaction to Opponent Grade B
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 1-2
Date of Disciplinary Committee 28/05/13
Evidence provided Dismissal Report DVD
Decision On Charge
Player plea Guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 23 May 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 62nd minute of the Match. You were sin binned following the incident. In the Panel’s opinion you reacted to the actions of an opponent and threw punches in a violent manner. The Panel believed that this behaviour was serious misconduct, against the spirit of the game, and that your punches had the potential to cause injury. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade B offence (Strikes – Punching – Reaction to Opponent). 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 1 to a 2 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 Hearing conducted over the telephone with the player. Player pleads guilty and apologises for his actions which he appreciated were totally wrong. Reacted wrongly to being head butted by an opponent. Was a natural instinctive reaction to being head butted and suffering a split lip as a result. Knows the opponent and are friends off the field of play. Reacted and took the wrong actions in this instance.
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 Apologised for actions and pleads guilty
Aggravating Factors Sustained punching-previous history for punching
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision In deciding the appropriate sanction for this offence the tribunal take into account the players plea of guilt, his realisation that his retaliation in such circumstances is unacceptable on a rugby field. The tribunal are concerned that the player previous convictions are showing a trend for punching and as such issue an official warning as to his future conduct in relation to this type of misconduct. Taking into account all the surrounding circumstances this tribunal feel that a 1 match suspension and £50 fine are appropriate in this instance.
Suspension 1 Match
Fine £50