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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/108/14
Name Michael McIlorum
Club Wigan
Shirt Number 9
Match Castleford v Wigan
Competition Super League
Date 09/03/14
Incident considered High tackle in 10th minute (Dixon)
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule – 15.1(b) Detail – Reckless – tried to tackle but reckless about outcome Grade – C
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 2-3 Match ban
Date of Disciplinary Committee 11/03/14
Evidence provided
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 10th minute of the above Match. In the Panel’s opinion in attempting to tackle your opponent (Dixon) you were reckless about the outcome and made contact with the head of your opponent. The Panel believed that you had the full body of your opponent to aim at and that your actions had 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 (Reckless – tried to tackle but reckless about outcome). 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 3 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 Player accompanied by Shaun Wane, Head Coach, Wigan Warriors. Player pleads not guilty to reckless tackle. The player accepts there was contact with the head of the opponent which unfortunately caused injury to the opponent. The players technique is the same in this tackle as it was in several other tackles, his body shape is the same and he goes to make the tackle with his arms down by his side. The player submits the actions were careless but not reckless. The opponent does drops his head before contact. The player is going into the tackle at speed and tackles aggressively and as he lacks weight and has to go in at speed to compensate. If the opponent had not dipped his head the Coach believes there would not have been contact with the head. Would have been reckless if arms had been raised. Arms were by his side and there was no malice or intent in respect of the opponent. Player indicated he saw the kick off was short and went at speed to get the ball.
Decision Guilty to reckless tackle
Reasons for Decision The tribunal have watched the DVD very carefully and listened carefully to what the player and his coach have said in their submissions in respect of recklessness. The tribunal note the player goes in a speed and was involved in similar tackles where no injury was caused in the same game. The fact is the player approaches at speed when the opponent has caught the ball and is ready to step off. The opponent is vulnerable. The player has the whole body to go at and as a tackler does not lose the duty to avoid injury in respect of the opponent. It is conceded there was contact with the opponents head which unfortunately resulted in serious injury. This tribunal are satisfied the tackle had a degree of recklessness and as such find the player guilty as charged.
 
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 Player is an aggressive tackler because of his lack of weight-he has not been before the disciplinary for 12 months-coaching staff are working in his technique-remorse shown for injury caused as a result of tackle-no intent or malice involved
Aggravating Factors Potential for serious injury and serious injury was caused
Mitigating Factors No disciplinary for last 12 months
Reasons for Decision In deciding the appropriate sanction the tribunal are satisfied this was a reckless tackle by the player and did result in serious injury with the player being out of the game for 6 to 8 weeks. This tribunal feel the reckless action involved was such that they considered going outside the Grading Guidelines. However taking into account the player does accept there was contact with the opponents head and the player accepts the tackle was careless. In addition he has not appeared before the tribunal for 12 months. These two factors are in the players favour. This tribunal feel that a 3 match suspension and £300 fine is the appropriate sanction on this occasion.
Suspension 3 matches
Fine £300
Warning