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Dylan Hartley Banned For Six Months

International rugby England
by TheSnowmonkey (U5169817) 24 April 2007
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Northampton and potential England Hooker ,Dylan Hartley has been banned for 6 months by the
RFU disciplinary committee for eye gauging two Wasps player's in a premiership match earlier this month.
The 21-year-old had been tipped to make England's squad for the South Africa tour and the World Cup but cannot now play again until 17 October.

The forward's absence is also a blow to Northampton's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premiership.Northampton have until 1700 BST on Wednesday to lodge an appeal.
It is believed to be the longest suspension dished out to a top-flight England player since former Bath prop Kevin Yates received a six-month ban after being found guilty of ear-biting in 1998.
Hartley was cited by an independent match commissioner for making contact with the eye areas of Jonny O'Connor, Joe Worsley and James Haskell during Saints' 35-29 defeat at Adams Park.
He pleaded not guilty on all three counts but an RFU disciplinary panel found him guilty in relation to the incidents with Haskell and O'Connor but cleared him on the Worsley count.
Judge Jeff Blackett, chairman of the three-man panel, said: "Contact with an opponent's eyes is a serious offence because of the vulnerability of the area and risk of permanent injury.
"It is often the result of an insidious act and is one of the most abhorred by rugby players."
He added that the panel had decided 30 weeks was an appropriate punishment but reduced it to 26 "after taking into account his good character, youth and inexperience".
Hartley's actions had already been the subject of an internal investigation by the Premiership's bottom-placed club.
He was also banned from last Sunday's Heineken Cup semi-final against Wasps by RFU disciplinary regulations which state players can take part in the English domestic matches until their cases are resolved.
Any thoughts please . That rules him out of RWC since that is in September. Was his sentence too harsh or correct?

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posted Apr 26, 2007

From what I've heard the allegations are not very specific. I havn't heard the term gouging used officially. Having said that there were 3 separate allegations so it seems he may well have had his chios on this one. Once is an accident,twice careless thrice = guilty. One is reminded of a young Freddy Mendez seeing red at Twickenham once and there maybe a parallel of two young tyros being pushed to the limit to find their edges and being too green to cope.But that is no excuse and a 6 month ban now will do him good rather than see him back in front of the court again.

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posted Apr 26, 2007

Someone on another thread reckoned Saints will win the appeal and Hartley will be eligible for SA tour

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posted Apr 26, 2007

Have read a feature from tomorrow's Times it appears that in the case of Haskell and O'Connor there was video evidence to collaborate the charge, but with Worsley the video was not working ,hence why this charge was dropped.
If that is the case then on what basis will Saints appeal Hartley's ban, it seems that the verdict will be upheld.

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posted Apr 27, 2007

Everyone seems to be touting Hartley as a potential England hooker.
With his current predilection for unmasked stupidity and cowardice (yes gougers are cowards) do we really need to spend each international with fourteen players on the park? Hooker is a key position and not one where you want yours watching from the touchline. Until his discipline improves he shouldnt even be considered.

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posted Apr 27, 2007

Eaxctly triple- you can be the hardcase without resorting to gouging.

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posted May 1, 2007

A six month ban is not long enough. Considering we are at the end of season.

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comment by Froggie (U1678249)

posted May 1, 2007

I made the same comment on a previous thread on this subject. There should be a life ban, without discretion, for anyone guilty of gouging. This would soon stop this reprehensible practice.
Anyone thick enough to fall foul of this law would have it coming-irrespective of age, degree of stupidity, etc etc..
Froggie.

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posted May 1, 2007

Wendell Sailor gets 2 years for taking a banned substance - something that is cheating but will only do physical harm to Sailor himself. Contact to the eyes is rated only one quarter as bad as this offence. I think gouging deserves a 2 year penalty too.

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posted May 1, 2007

There's no place in rugby for deliberate intent to injure another player. The game has inherent risks without allowing thug behaviour as well. I think Hartley should think himself lucky that most of his ban is in the "off" season.

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posted Apr 16, 2008

Cool

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