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Billy Vunipola Red Card Overturned

13.12.23
In association with
City Index City Index
Billy4

Billy Vunipola has had his red card overturned following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Investec Champions Cup, Round 1 match against the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Vunipola was sent off by the referee, Andrea Piardi (Italy), in the 52nd minute of the match for a dangerous strike to the head area of the Vodacom Bulls No 8, Cameron Hanekom, in contravention of Law 9.12 and Law 9.11.

Law 9.12 Physical abuse of an opponent – punching or striking with hand, arm, elbow or shoulder
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 relating to striking with the hand, arm, elbow or shoulder carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

Law 9.11 Reckless or dangerous play – leading with the elbow or forearm
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.11 relating to dangerous play carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Tony Wheat (Ireland) and Valeriu Toma (Romania), viewed footage of the incident and heard evidence by video conference from Vunipola, who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card. 

The committee also heard submissions from the Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, from the Saracens Team Manager, Warrick Lang, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee determined that Vunipola had committed an act of foul play, however, it decided that there was insufficient force in the contact to Hanekom’s head to warrant a red card, and the red card was therefore overturned.

Vunipola is free to play immediately and EPCR has the right to appeal the decision.

Buchananr1

MATCH REACTION | Camilla Buchanan (NSL Rd 1)

Head Coach Camilla Buchanan was left frustrated, as her side kicked off the 2024 season with a breath-taking draw against Cardiff Dragons. In a nailbiting match, Mavericks weren’t able to convert a half-time lead into a victory and Buchanan admitted that a slow start had played a part in her side not securing the win. […]

18.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook
R1 Match Rep

MATCH REPORT | Cardiff Dragons 48-48 Saracens Mavericks (NSL Rd 1)

Saracens Mavericks opened their season with a thrilling draw against Cardiff Dragons at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, as both teams fought hard to the final whistle. The Netball Super League 2024 kicked off today with the Season Opener in Nottingham, and it did not disappoint. After eight teams had already taken to court, it was […]

17.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook
Injury Update

Injury Update | Saracens Mavericks

Saracens Mavericks can today provide the following injury update, heading into the Season Opener against Cardiff Dragons. Goal Shooter Ine-Mari Venter is progressing well after a minor procedure in the off-season. She is expected to return to the fold shortly. Goal Keeper Peace Akinyemi has suffered a knee injury, which has ruled her out of […]

17.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook

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