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European competitions Early April rounds

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Geordie
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Post by neilthom7 Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:19 pm

Didn't see a thread for the early April games of the European tournaments so thought I'd start this one.  Champions Cup last 16 (2 legs) and last round of the Challenge Cup group stage.

Friday 15th April 2022

Champions Cup
Leinster v Connacht- 17:30
Bristol v Sale- 20:00

Challenge Cup

Biarritz Olympique v Wasps- 17:30
London Irish v Castres- 17:30
Lyon v Worcester Warriors- 20:00
Newcastle Falcons v Glasgow Warriors- 20:00

Saturday 16th April 2022

Champions Cup
Harlequins v Montpellier- 12:30
La Rochelle v Bordeaux Bègles- 15:00
Munster v Exeter Chiefs- 15:00
Leicester Tigers v ASM Clermont Auvergne- 17:30
Ulster v Toulouse- 20:00

Challenge Cup
Edinburgh v Bath- 20:00
Gloucester v Northampton Saints- 20:00
Toulon v Benetton- 20:00

Sunday 17th April 2022

Saracens v Cardiff- 13:00- Challenge Cup

Racing 92 v Stade Francais- 15:30- Champions Cup



Last edited by neilthom7 on Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:44 pm

Nice to see the Irish Provinces having to endure the Dickson officiating as a bit of a change. Can't believe he's been given such a high profile game after bungling big decisions in the Bristol Vs Saints game last weekend.

Connacht Vs Leinster is a right old ding dong battle nonetheless. Cracking stuff.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:57 pm

Cracking game, you would have to imagine Leinster would be favourites to advance with their home leg next week but great work by Connacht to push them all the way.

Elsewhere easy wins for Saracens and Edinburgh.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Apr 08, 2022 10:07 pm

Brice sent out a pretty second string side Vs Saracens. Not a good call, 55-5 loss. Saracens now go into a home game all but qualified.

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Post by Heaf Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:24 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Nice to see the Irish Provinces having to endure the Dickson officiating as a bit of a change. Can't believe he's been given such a high profile game after bungling big decisions in the Bristol Vs Saints game last weekend.

Connacht Vs Leinster is a right old ding dong battle nonetheless. Cracking stuff.

Do you think we could persuade them to keep him over there?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 6:48 am

Heaf wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Nice to see the Irish Provinces having to endure the Dickson officiating as a bit of a change. Can't believe he's been given such a high profile game after bungling big decisions in the Bristol Vs Saints game last weekend.

Connacht Vs Leinster is a right old ding dong battle nonetheless. Cracking stuff.

Do you think we could persuade them to keep him over there?

A think an initial three year sabbatical would be the best for all.

It's somewhat frustrating that he continues to get more opportunities as a former player than better emerging refs like Smalles, Leal and Cox.

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Post by Unclear Sat Apr 09, 2022 10:59 am

Heaf wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Nice to see the Irish Provinces having to endure the Dickson officiating as a bit of a change. Can't believe he's been given such a high profile game after bungling big decisions in the Bristol Vs Saints game last weekend.

Connacht Vs Leinster is a right old ding dong battle nonetheless. Cracking stuff.

Do you think we could persuade them to keep him over there?

If we can start the negotiations with you taking Frank Murphy, and a side deal of you also taking Neil Francis, then maybe we can talk ...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:13 am

Unclear wrote:
Heaf wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Nice to see the Irish Provinces having to endure the Dickson officiating as a bit of a change. Can't believe he's been given such a high profile game after bungling big decisions in the Bristol Vs Saints game last weekend.

Connacht Vs Leinster is a right old ding dong battle nonetheless. Cracking stuff.

Do you think we could persuade them to keep him over there?

If we can start the negotiations with you taking Frank Murphy, and a side deal of you also taking Neil Francis, then maybe we can talk ...

Woah there, we're not piggy backing multiples in unless you take the TMO Dean Richards as well. Often Dickson's stooge in the box and an awful mix of blindly missing the obvious with overly niggly officiating.

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Post by Heaf Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:27 am

So what do we think about GP's yellow not red last night?

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:19 pm

Heaf wrote:So what do we think about GP's yellow not red last night?
That's a close call either way - was glad I didn't have to make it. No idea why JGP didn't lower his body height for the tackle. Should be binned for being stupid. Shoulder did make direct contact with the head.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 1:06 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Heaf wrote:So what do we think about GP's yellow not red last night?
That's a close call either way - was glad I didn't have to make it.  No idea why JGP didn't lower his body height for the tackle.  Should be binned for being stupid.  Shoulder did make direct contact with the head.  

Shoulder direct to head with force, as seen by the Connacht player's impression of the Elephant Man moments after. Red all day but Dickson doesn't like to give reds for high tackles, we saw that at the weekend when Biggar escaped what probably should have been a red.

If World Rugby want to make rugby safer than allowing players to get away with lazy tackle technique like this doesn't help.

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Post by Heaf Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:29 pm

Don't know why the Toulouse fans are booing, clear-cut red card ....

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:32 pm

Probably one of the easiest Red Cards Wayne Barnes has ever had to give

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:53 pm

Good to see Wayne Barnes applying the laws correctly. Hopefully the Ulster player is ok, he's not come back on and the medics were quick to him.

Ulster now need to box clever and use their man advantage to pull Toulouse around the field, they'll be a man shirt in the back field so there will be grass to hit with kicks.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:56 pm

Ulsters protection of their own ruck is woeful, every time they are letting Toulouse off the hook by not properly resourcing their rucks.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:27 pm

If they go back for the Dupont knock on but not the very forward pass in the build up to the Ulster try the Toulouse fans will be fuming.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:50 pm

Looked a wee bit offside for that interception try.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:55 pm

It was very close, Rob might have been lucky there wasn't a line the TMO could use to really confirm it.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:57 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Looked a wee bit offside for that interception try.

This match has echoes of England vs Ireland, when it looked like the 14 man team was playing better rugby, before it all started to go wrong for them in the last 10 or 15 minutes.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:58 pm

Go Ulster. Think we can all agree that we don’t like the French much Smile.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Apr 09, 2022 5:05 pm

Tim O'Connor tweet;
The thing about Stade Toulousain is that when the mood takes them they can destroy any team in Europe.

The other thing about Stade Toulousain is that the “any team in Europe” they can destroy when the mood takes them includes Stade Toulousain.

https://twitter.com/timoconnorbl/status/1512822804223303686

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 5:06 pm

The Ulster defence has been exceptional. Really pressured and spoiled the Toulouse attack very well indeed. It's that which has really wok them this game.

Well the red card helped a bit as well.

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Post by sensisball Sat Apr 09, 2022 8:08 pm

Hold the front page all you Tigers fans. Wesley Fofana returns to Clermonts midfield for the first time since round one of the T14!
A timely return considering Penaud's ankle injury last week against Brive.
Hope he is match fit and manages to show us some of the old magic. He will probably retire, or be retired, at the end of the season. This will be the last home European game for Fofana, Lopez, Parra and Fritz Lee.
End of an era for Les Jaunardes.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 09, 2022 10:23 pm

sensisball wrote:Hold the front page all you Tigers fans. Wesley Fofana returns to Clermonts midfield for the first time since round one of the T14!
A timely return considering Penaud's ankle injury last week against Brive.
Hope he is match fit and manages to show us some of the old magic. He will probably retire, or be retired, at the end of the season. This will be the last home European game for Fofana, Lopez,  Parra and Fritz Lee.
End of an era for Les Jaunardes.

I've always liked watching Fofana he's a class act, however, tomorrow I hope there's no sprinkling of stardust and he stays firmly in the back pocket of Dan Kelly. 

Big game for Kelly and Porter in the Tigers midfield. Two young (EQ) centres that found themselves on the fringes of professional rugby not really fancied a couple of years back. Tigers took the chance and here they are in the knock out rounds of Europe playing against two quality operators in Fofana and Moala. Great chance for the tough tackling Tigers pair to advance their credentials. They'll need to be at their tough tackling best in that cauldron against two centres as capable in attack and defence as Fofana and Moala.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:54 am

Aside from Bordeaux and Stade, none of the Champions Cup losers look out of it. While Munster fans sound disappointed they couldn't come away with a win, after having a two man advantage, that's not a bad result to get at Sandy Park.

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Post by Maine man Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:58 pm

Harlequins are going to have to pull a lucky horseshoe out of their @r$es if they want to stay in this one

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:53 pm

Well they're just about in it.

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Post by Poorfour Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:43 pm

For a normal team, yes. But this is Harlequins. 14 points is a mere bagatelle.

You wouldn’t say it about many other teams, but they are still very much in this. They gave away a lot of soft tries today - half of them during a very harsh YC period.

Add Will Evans back into the team, have a few more passes going to hand and home advantage and Quins are very capable of overturning a 14 point deficit.

It’s only half time, and I’ve personally watched Quins turn over a much larger half time deficit against league leaders.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:27 pm

Leicesters maul looks good. Ford's kicking does not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:45 pm

Porter has just done a bizarre challenge no where near the ball. Don't think he had any idea what he was doing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:49 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Porter has just done a bizarre challenge no where near the ball. Don't think he had any idea what he was doing.

He came racing in trying to stop the ball being passed wide. Didn't see Fritz Lee until it was to late. Tad harsh on the red considering what Dickson has let go over the last two weekends.

The ref has been excellent though and his reasoning for the decision was at least logical.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:50 pm

Ha. Clermont will be scratching their heads on this.

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Post by Poorfour Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:51 pm

Yer a wizard, Harry!
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:52 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Porter has just done a bizarre challenge no where near the ball. Don't think he had any idea what he was doing.

He came racing in trying to stop the ball being passed wide. Didn't see Fritz Lee until it was to late. Tad harsh on the red considering what Dickson has let go over the last two weekends.

The ref has been excellent though and his reasoning for the decision was at least logical.
Very unfortunate but reds right with the laws as they are. And we both know that Dickson isn't a ref to be held as a benchmark!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:56 pm

I do love that maul.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:58 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Leicesters maul looks good. Ford's kicking does not.

Strange off weekend. Those conversions were out wide but I'm sure he'd still have expected himself to land them. He's been excellent otherwise.

Great finish by Potter.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:10 pm

Cracking performance. Steve Borthwick got the tactics spot on and now Clermont need to come to WR and find a significant result.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:10 pm

Thought he was generally a bit quiet
Couple of mistakes maybe getting to him a bit. Setpiece and defence has been superb. Shall we just take Borthwick and Sinfield for England. Along with Adam Jones for Harlequins. That'd help sort us out a little.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:11 pm

Few reds dotted around this weekend again. Some stupid decisions from players.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Thought he was generally a bit quiet
Couple of mistakes maybe getting to him a bit. Setpiece and defence has been superb. Shall we just take Borthwick and Sinfield for England. Along with Adam Jones for Harlequins. That'd help sort us out a little.

Yeah it's a typical Ford for Tigers performance. Keeps everything ticking along, directs everything even when he's not touching the ball. I thought he might be a bit more prominent in the second half but didn't really need to be.

England can keep their hands off. Borthwick and Sinfield need to stay and bring some silverware back to Leicester. Their history in their current jobs is pretty short as well. Borthwick less than two seasons as head coach and Sinfield less than a season as defence coach. 

Borthwick is doing his bit for England by bringing all those young EQ players to the fore. Huge games from Reffell and Chessum today. Kelly did well to keep Fofana quiet and Steward was rock solid.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:50 am

I caught the Quins game and some of the Leicester one which was a rarity these days.

Quins got pumped in the 1st half with Smith struggling and making some real howlers. Zach Mercer was outstanding and completely outplayed Dombrandt.....one big moment where he scored his 2nd try and Dombrandt just gives up chasing him back, he looked gone. 2nd half Quins obviously picked up with the Smith etc coming back into it.....good game.

Clermont looked good in the 1st 20mins so I was surprised when I seen that Tigers were well up. Good result, Tigers just ticking along doing the basics well and playing in the right areas. Nothing flashy....solid defence...a good kicking game and clinical when it matters.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:13 am

Poorfour wrote:For a normal team, yes. But this is Harlequins. 14 points is a mere bagatelle.

You wouldn’t say it about many other teams, but they are still very much in this. They gave away a lot of soft tries today - half of them during a very harsh YC period.

Add Will Evans back into the team, have a few more passes going to hand and home advantage and Quins are very capable of overturning a 14 point deficit.

It’s only half time, and I’ve personally watched Quins turn over a much larger half time deficit against league leaders.

I agree Quins have it in their locker to score tries for fun particularly at home if Montpellier tire in the same way they did in France. Montpellier physically dominated Quins and opened them up all over the place in the opening 50 mins though that will be a major concern for the Quins coaches, they can't afford to do that again and give Montpellier a sizeable lead to defend as it'll leave with too much to do. Keep it tight in the first half and back themselves to cause chaos in the second.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:20 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I caught the Quins game and some of the Leicester one which was a rarity these days.

Quins got pumped in the 1st half with Smith struggling and making some real howlers. Zach Mercer was outstanding and completely outplayed Dombrandt.....one big moment where he scored his 2nd try and Dombrandt just gives up chasing him back, he looked gone. 2nd half Quins obviously picked up with the Smith etc coming back into it.....good game.

Clermont looked good in the 1st 20mins so I was surprised when I seen that Tigers were well up. Good result, Tigers just ticking along doing the basics well and playing in the right areas. Nothing flashy....solid defence...a good kicking game and clinical when it matters.

Always liked Mercer, for me he's better than Simmonds and I'd have had him around the squad if not for his move to France. Flip side is that he's probably best as far away from Bath as possible at the moment. Dombrandt is the better player though and the better fit for who I'd want at 6 and 7. Both great players.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Apr 11, 2022 9:11 am

What's everyone's thoughts on the home and away format then, seen some grumbling elsewhere but coming from a football fan as a kid this always makes more sense to me. Was trying to think whether I'd prefer home or away first too, in football top seeds get to play at home last, thinking in rugby that may be a disadvantage though?

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Post by Poorfour Mon Apr 11, 2022 10:19 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
I agree Quins have it in their locker to score tries for fun particularly at home if Montpellier tire in the same way they did in France. Montpellier physically dominated Quins and opened them up all over the place in the opening 50 mins though that will be a major concern for the Quins coaches, they can't afford to do that again and give Montpellier a sizeable lead to defend as it'll leave with too much to do. Keep it tight in the first half and back themselves to cause chaos in the second.

I think that's a bit of a mischaracterisation of the first 50 minutes. Montpellier's defence limited Quins' ability to attack - though Quins also missed several very good try scoring chances in the first 20-30 minutes through uncharacteristically poor handling - but Montpellier weren't making yards when they had the ball themselves. Several of their came from turnovers, and they also exploited the YC on Esterhuizen to good effect (I was disappointed that the ref didn't at least look at the replay as it looked quite a lot like a genuine attempt to tackle).

There is a genuine issue for the Quins defence, which is that they are usually quite happy to miss first up tackles and rely on their cover tackling, but Montpellier's offloading game allowed them to keep breaks going and make a lot of ground. They'll need to focus more on making those initial tackles, and they probably need more firepower at the breakdown (and to make sure they get the tackler away from it faster - though the reffing on that looked a bit asymmetric to me).

Once Montpellier began to tire, Quins were pretty much in control apart from silly penalties, and it was telling that even Mercer said in his interview that he was disappointed in the lead.
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Post by neilthom7 Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:18 pm

Another weekend infront of the tv upcoming, well minus a quick trip to Ravenhill Saturday evening.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu Apr 14, 2022 1:41 pm

I'm looking forward to a good weekend of knockout rugby. Having a starting points differential in the matches will make things interesting.
Only worry is that the road teams did very well last weekend, so the teams with the leads in points starting off these games are the home sides, the higher seeds (?) and historically it was argued that home teams waltz this round. It could be boring if the winner from the first game takes an early lead in these fixtures. Here's hoping for lots of close action.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu Apr 14, 2022 1:50 pm

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O'Brien, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Ronán Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong; Ross Molony, Josh Murphy; Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Ed Byrne, Michael Ala'alatoa, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Ciarán Frawley.

Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran; John Porch, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen; Jack Carty (capt), Caolin Blade; Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Gavin Thornbury, Leva Fifita; Cian Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler.

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Denis Buckley, Jack Aungier, Oisín Dowling, Abraham Papali’i , Kieran Marmion, Sammy Arnold, Conor Fitzgerald.


Going to be some match!

thebandwagonsociety

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Post by MichaelT Thu Apr 14, 2022 2:11 pm

Predicted quarter finals

Leinster v Leicester
Munster v Ulster
Bristol v Racing
La Rochelle v Harlequins

Not sure on Quins/ Montpellier but fingers crossed. Leinster v Leicester should be a cracker, shame it won't be a final. If the final is Leinster v La Rochelle or Racing it doesn't sound much cop.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Apr 14, 2022 2:31 pm

Gibson Park avoids a ban for that cheap shot but Porter gets six weeks reduced to three for his accidental collision. Nice consistent decisions as per usual.

The Leicester Tigers centre, Guy Porter, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing by video conference arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round of 16 1st leg match against ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel-Michelin.

Porter was sent off by the referee, Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), in the 60th minute of the match for making contact with the head of the ASM Clermont Auvergne No 8, Fritz Lee, in a reckless manner in contravention of Law 9.11.

Law 9.11 Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.11 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.

Roger Morris (Wales), chair, David Humphreys (Ireland) and Frank Hadden (Scotland), considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from the player, who did not accept the red card decision, from the player’s legal representative, John Shea, from the Leicester Tigers General Manager, Leigh Jones, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that Porter had committed a reckless act of foul play that warranted a red card. It then determined that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Due to the player’s clear disciplinary record and his concern for Lee following the incident, it was decided to grant the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.

As Leicester Tigers are scheduled to play a Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final on Tuesday, 26 April, Porter is free to play on Wednesday, 27 April. However, if he applies for and completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 25 April.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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