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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/562/13 – Appeal
Name Zeb Taia
Club Catalans
Shirt Number 4
Match Catalans v St Helens
Competition Super League
Date 03/08/13
Incident considered Striking in 21st minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Law 15.1(a) Strikes - Strikes with shoulder – (Reckless) Grade C
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 2-3
Date of Disciplinary Committee 08/08/13
Evidence provided DVD Officials Report
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Not guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Committee meeting held on 05 August 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of law 15.1(a) (Strikes another player). The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in the 21st minute of the Match. This incident was placed On Report by the match referee. In the Panel’s opinion when attempting a tackle you made contact with the head of a St Helens player (O’Brien) with your shoulder. The Panel deemed this contact to be reckless with the potential to cause your opponent injury In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade C offence (Strikes - Strikes with shoulder - Reckless). 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 2 to a 3 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable. Under the RFL Disciplinary Guidelines you are eligible to take an Early Guilty Plea due to your previous disciplinary record. If you wish to take this option you will be suspended for two matches. Please advise Gavin Wild of the RFL Operations Department (email: gavin.wild@rfl.uk.com and 0113 237 5023) if you wish to make an Early Guilty Plea before 11a.m on Tuesday 06 August 2013. If you decide to make an Early Guilty Plea your suspension will start from midnight on Tuesday 06 August 2013
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Oliver Marns, club solicitor speaking on behalf of the player pleads not guilty to the charge outlined. Mr Marns states that taking into account the tackle technique, Mr Marns feels that the player has crouched to get power through the legs to make a legitimate tackle. Mr Marns states that viewing the angle of the footage from behind shows the player using an appropriate technique and as agreed with the Compliance Manager there is no hint of a shoulder charge or deliberate, late tackle. Mr Marns feels the footage is inconclusive to make out the charge and that any contact was accidental. Mr Marns also adds that 2 forceful players coming together are going to displace parts of the body. Mr Marns feels that the comments made by the opposition’s coach could have somewhat influenced the decision to charge the player. Player does not have a record for any dangerous tackle techniques. Mr Marns states that the technique in this instance requires a ball and all tackle and thus is why the player has started at a high position.
Decision Guilty
Reasons for Decision The committee have viewed this incident and are satisfied that having viewed the footage is satisfied that the player is guilty of misconduct. The committee accept that this is not a ‘shoulder charge' tackle and that the player is committed to the tackle. However the committee state that as mentioned if there was any contact with the head, which the committee find is proved was accidental, the reckless nature in which the tackle was committed has led to the player’s shoulder making contact with the head of his opponent which leads the committee that the charge is made out.
 
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 The player has an almost immaculate disciplinary record bar from a 2 occasions in the NRL whereby the player took Early Guilty Pleas and did not receive any suspension on both occasions.
Aggravating Factors Potential for injury which occurred in this instance.
Mitigating Factors Good disciplinary record
Reasons for Decision The committee have taken into the account the submissions on behalf of Mr Marns and note the player does have a good disciplinary record. However the committee note that given the incident and the player received an injury which had the potential to be more serious. Taking all these factors into account the committee feel that the 3 match suspension imposed and the £300 fine together with the forfeiting of the £200 appeal deposit.
Suspension 3 matches
Fine £300 and forfeiting of the £200 bond
Warning