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Wales' Moriarty gets 4-week ban for choke-hold as committee note 'mitigating factors'

The back row will miss only one Pro14 match after sustaining a hold on the neck of Argentina out-half Nicolas Sanchez.

WALES BACK ROW Ross Moriarty has been handed a four-week suspension after grabbing Argentina out-half Nicolas Sanchez in a choke-hold this weekend.

The 24-year-old committed the offence in the closing moments of Wales’ 30-12 win over the Pumas and was issued a red card by referee Jaco Peyper.

The independent judicial committee – made up of David Hurley, Beth Dickins and Becky Essex – determined that Moriarty’s actions warranted a mid-range entry point sanction, which for Law 9.11 (grasping an opponent around the neck area) brings a six-week ban.

Source: Sports Vids/YouTube

The committee noted that Moriarty refused to let Sanchez go when instructed to by Irish assistant official Andrew Brace and that he “only stopped holding Mr Sanchez by virtue of the intervention of the Argentina 7″ and thus caused a late fracas between two sets of players.

One week was added for this aggravating factor before the committee took mitigating factors - ’including the player’s immediate apology and disciplinary record’ – into account and reduced the standing sanction from a seven-week ban to four.

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Ross Moriarty dejected after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Though the Santa Fe win marked the end of Wales’ international season, Moriarty is set to be free to take the field again after the Dragons play their first match of the new Pro14 season.

The judicial committee note that this is ‘subject to clarification of the player’s precise playing schedule.’ However, it appears as though the pre-season friendlies against Ealing Trailfinders, Northampton Saints and Gloucester will form the bulk of his suspension for the sustained offence against the Argentina star.

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Sean Farrell

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