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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/726/13
Name Ben Westwood
Club Warrington
Shirt Number 12
Match Warrington v Wigan
Competition Super League
Date 05/10/13
Incident considered Punching in 2nd minute (Green)
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule: 15.1(a) Detail – Punching Grade B
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 1-2
Date of Disciplinary Committee 08/10/13
Evidence provided DVD Officials Report
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 07 October 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(a) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 2nd minute of the Match. This incident was placed ‘On Report’ by the match referee. In the Panel’s opinion you threw a punch at an opponent (Green) who was on the ground after being tackled. The Panel believed that this behaviour was serious misconduct, against the spirit of the game, and that your punch had the potential to cause injury. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade B offence (Strikes – Punching). If found to have committed the offence, again in accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is from a 1 to a 2 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable. Under the RFL Disciplinary Guidelines you are not eligible to take an Early Guilty Plea due to your previous disciplinary record.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Player pleads guilty to the offence of punching. The player states that it was a big occasion being the Grand Final. The atmosphere was intense with arms and legs everywhere. The player states that he received an elbow which he states was not deliberate from his opponent. The player then wanted to let him know he was there and went in hard but not deliberately. The player states was devastated when he saw on the screen the replays where he had caught his opponent as he never intended to do anything deliberate to hurt his opponent.
Decision Guilty plea
Reasons for Decision
 
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction No further submissions
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction The player in reference to his record states he is not a malicious player and does not want this to wreck his chance of lifetime. The player is remorseful for his actions.
Aggravating Factors
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision The committee have viewed this incident and the DVD is clear that the player has struck his opponent with a punch. The committee accept this was not a deliberate attack to the head. The committee give the player credit for his guilty plea and show of remorse in this incident and accept it was a highly charged atmosphere in a big game. The player does not have a bad disciplinary record for this type of incident and the committee feel that a 1 match suspension and a £300 fine is appropriate in this instance.
Suspension 1 match
Fine £300
Warning