Kockott receives three-week ban for eye-gouging Cloete
Offence occurred during Munster’s Champions Cup defeat in Castres
Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott during the game against Munster. Photograph: Inpho
Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott has been handed a three-week ban for “making contact with the eye and/or the eye area” of Munster’s Chris Cloete during the bad tempered Champions Cup clash between the sides last weekend.
Marc-Antoine Rallier, the replacement Castres hooker in Castres’ 13-12 win at the Stade Pierre Fabre, was hit with a one-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Peter O’Mahony.
Kockott’s offence occurred in the 21st minute of the game when his hand raked across Cloete’s face as both players lay at the bottom of a ruck. The Munster flanker appealed immediately to the assistant referee but no action was taken at the time.
Although the entry level for making contact with the eye and/or the eye area is a four week ban, the committee at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday concluded that the player’s “act of foul play was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
“Due to the player’s guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a three-week suspension.”
Rallier was yellow-carded for the no-arms tackle that upended O’Mahony. Today’s hearing decided the offence warranted a red card and imposed a two-week ban which was reduced to one week “due to the player’s guilty plea and clear disciplinary record”.