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Should Toulon's Suta be cited for this dangerous choke hold against Leinster?

Referee Wayne Barnes felt the actions warranted only a penalty in Marseille.

Source: gorpitsen junior/YouTube

THOSE EXPECTING A citing against Toulon’s Jocelino Suta for the above choke hold on Leinster’s Richardt Strauss during Sunday’s Champions Cup semi-final are still waiting, although the timeframe in which citings are normally made has still not elapsed.

Matt O’Connor’s men scored three points from the penalty awarded by referee Wayne Barnes in this instance, though the punishment for Suta and Toulon could easily have been more.

He’s grabbed him around the neck, he’s then dragged him to the floor by the neck, number 23″ said Barnes upon awarding the penalty at Stade Vélodrome.

When Toulon’s stand-in captain Chris Masoe asked for an explanation, Barnes repeated: “He’s grabbed him by the neck, he’s then wrestled him to the floor by the neck and he’s in a very dangerous position… don’t grab him by the neck, number 23.”

EPCR’s tournament rules state that the citing commissioner has up until 50 hours from the start of the match to submit a citing complaint, while the teams involved may refer incidents to the citing commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.

EPCR then refer any complaints to their ‘Gatekeeper’ to determine whether it should proceed, whereafter a disciplinary hearing takes place.

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It seems likely that any citing for Suta would come under Laws 10.4 (e) and 10.4 (m).

Law 10.4 (e): Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.
Law 10.4 (m): Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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