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Disciplinary appeal: Siale Piutau

Bristol Bears' Siale Piutau appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel this evening.

 He appealed his three match suspension, which was given for punching or striking Worcester Warriors' Andrew Kitchener contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12.

The appeal, heard by a new online independent disciplinary panel comprising Sir James Dingemans (chair) with Sam Hillas QC and Becky Essex, was dismissed and Piutau remains suspended. He is free to play again ‪on 20 September 2020‬.

The independent disciplinary panel said: “Bristol Bears’ Siale Piutau appeared before an online independent appeal panel (Sir James Dingemans, Sam Hillas QC and Becky Essex) on Thursday 10 September 2020

“Mr Piutau appealed against his three match suspension, which was imposed by a RFU Disciplinary panel on 8 September 2020, for punching Worcester Warriors’ Andrew Kitchener, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12 during the match between Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears which was played on Friday 4 September 2020.  It was common ground before the Disciplinary panel and appeal panel that Mr Piutau had punched Mr Kitchener and committed an act of foul play. 

"Mr Piutau appealed on the basis that the sanction imposed on him by the Disciplinary panel was excessive because he was acting in self-defence, and because he had mitigation from his good standing at the club and in the community.
 
"Appendix 2 of RFU Regulation 19 provides that any act of foul play which results in contact with the head shall result in at least a mid-range sanction.  This gave a minimum mandatory sanction of six weeks.  The Disciplinary panel had then applied the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent, resulting in the suspension for three matches.  The decision was therefore dismissed.”


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