Courtney Lawes banned for Georgia and Romania matches

Here is the official information below from the IRB:

Following a review of broadcast footage, Lawes was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Murray Whyte (Ireland) under Law 10.4(a) for striking Mario Ledesma with the knee in the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool B match against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10.

Lawes, who pleaded not guilty, was suspended by Independent Judicial Officer Terry Willis (Australia) in accordance with the Rugby World Cup 2011 Disciplinary process.

Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles and additional evidence from the Player and submissions from his Counsel, Richard Smith QC, the Judicial Officer upheld the Citing on the basis that the Player had committed an act of foul play.

With respect to the sanction, the offence was deemed to be Low-End (which has an entry point of three weeks). However, taking into account mitigating factors being his excellent disciplinary record and remorse and the absence of aggravating factors, the Player was suspended for two weeks.

In the context of the Rugby World Cup Tournament a week equates to one match. Therefore Lawes is suspended for two Rugby World Cup 2011 matches and is free to resume playing for England’s Pool B match against Scotland in Auckland on October 1.

Here are Martin Johnson’s thoughts on the ban, courtesy of RugbyMedia.

Is the ban fair? Or is Lawes lucky to be only missing two weeks?

11 thoughts on “Courtney Lawes banned for Georgia and Romania matches

  1. It’s all a conspiracy against England. He did nothing wrong he’s just a hard and committed player. I certainly wouldn’t want to be tackled by him. I’ve seen Courtney take out three players in a row like dominoes!

  2. Good to see the IRB taking swift action – hopefully will set an example for the rest of the tournament. Lawes and England are lucky he’s only missing two pushover games. Don’t think he’s a malicious player, but still have to punish him when it’s due.

  3. Bit harsh there Hugh. His tackle on Tiesi was absolutely fine, he was committed and diving before Tiesi had started to kick the ball. No way he could have pulled out

    As for the knee on Ledesma, i don’t remember thinking anything of it during the game. I’ve yet to find a replay however, if someone can point the way to one it would be appreciated

    My initial thoughts are that he’s been used to set an example. Happy to be proved wrong if I see a replay though

  4. I don’t think it was a deliberate act of foul play, however I will acknowledge that his knee did make contact with Ledesma. Whether it was deliberate or not only Courtney knows. I think the short length of the ban indicates that the IRB know that this was a 50/50 call, and that a short ban is simply a warning to the players that no foul play, deliberate or otherwise, will be tolerated

  5. I have to say that it does seem a little harsh. I thought “Ouch” when I say it happen but never thought it was dirty play. I just hope that disciplinary standards are equal across all teams and if Richie McCaw did something similar in a quarter final the ban would be the same! Not convinced. Hopefully no long term harm done to England or RWC. Generally more worried about different refereeing standards and interpretations. Hopefully RWC will sort that out although once again not convinced.

  6. Staggy, less concerned about Richie McCaw and more about players like Botha, Burger, Cooper, Thorn, etc

    Would the IRB have the guts to ban Quade Cooper if he knees someone else in the head?

    They let him off before and it was far worse than anything Lawes did – for those who didn’t see it

  7. Staggy, Paolo, completely agree with you both.
    Courtney has the ability and strength to become a great but at the moment he’s not, and again cynically I think that all is being done to bias the series in the southern hemisphere’s favour.
    A coincidence that everyone is missing so many kicks with a new ball – ok we’ve played with it????
    As to the French and NZ being in the same pool, the only way that NZ cannot meet the French in the knockout rounds….. well is it just me??

  8. Having seen it live and seen replays I cannot believe the ban. Had Ledesma avoided the first tackle Lawes would have been in the perfect position to stop the try in the corner. It wasn’t malicious whatsoever, just looked bad. But this is a rugby world cup so these things happen.

  9. Have not seen lawes in a game before, but watched the game and thought he played dirty, out to hurt or injure other players. First he hit an Argentina player from behind in the vunerable rib area, and later with the knee on a player who was already down. He’s lucky he’s only out for two games.

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