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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/664/13
Name Tim Spears
Club Featherstone
Shirt Number 12
Match Hunslet v Featherstone
Competition Championship
Date 01/09/13
Incident considered Dangerous Contact in 46th minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Law: 15.1(i) Detail: Dangerous Contact Grade C Defending player, in or after effecting a tackle, uses any part of his body forcefully to bend or apply unnecessary pressure to the head and/or neck and/or spinal column of the tackled player so as to keep the tackled player at a disadvantage in or after the tackle.
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 2-3.
Date of Disciplinary Committee 03/09/13
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 Panel meeting held on 11 June 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(i) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident that occurred in approximately the 46th minute of the above Match and considered whether in tackling an opponent you had made dangerous contact with your opponent. The Panel believed that as a defending player, in effecting a tackle, you used your body forcefully to apply unnecessary pressure to the head and/or neck of the tackled player. As a defender you have a special duty to avoid such contact. The Panel believed your actions were reckless and could have resulted in an injury to your opponent. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade C offence (Dangerous contact - Defending player, in or after effecting a tackle, uses any part of his body to forcefully to bend or apply unnecessary pressure to the head and/or neck and/or spinal column of the tackled player so as to keep the tackled player at a disadvantage in or after the tackle). 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 match suspension 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 receive a 2 match suspension. 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 03 September. If you do accept the Early Guilty Plea then you will be suspended from midnight on Tuesday 03 September.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence The player pleads not guilty to the offence. The player states that having viewed a doctor’s submissions with regards to the injury it is very unfortunate that this was the outcome and is sorry that this has occurred. The player states that his opponent twisted in the tackle so the player could only tackle the back, so the player applied a grip to stop his opponent offloading the ball. The player states that the legs were being taken away by one of his team mates that the tackle was going to ground and that he tried to take the tackle to ground in a safe a manner as possible with the amount people who are affecting the tackle. The player feels that his opponent landed on his side, not in his seated position. The player feels he was in control until his team mate took his legs away which made him lose control of the tackle. The player says this incident was unavoidable with the contribution of his team mate. The opponent is also trying to get to ground as fast as possible. The player felt another type of injury had occurred.
Decision Guilty
Reasons for Decision The committee have viewed this incident and are satisfied that the case of misconduct is proved. The player it can be seen maintains a grip of his opponent and it is clear that he then appears to drop his legs when completing the tackle, which applies pressure to his opponent’s neck, head or upper back area. The committee do not feel that the team mate’s contribution had any effect on the outcome of the tackle and that the player was responsible for putting his opponent in a dangerous position.
 
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 states he did not intend to hurt his opponent. The player has a good record approaching 250 first team games. On the club’s behalf the player is a model professional and his first concern was for the welfare of the opponent. Injury sustained by the player
Aggravating Factors Injury sustained by the player
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision The committee are satisfied with the mitigation provided by the club and that the player has an excellent disciplinary record throughout a First Team playing career spanning almost 250 games. The committee note this is a reckless action and feel that a 2 match suspension and a £50 fine is appropriate in this instance.
Suspension 2 matches
Fine £50
Warning