Rugby

There's Welsh Outrage Over The Non-Punishment Of Yoann Maestri For That Sexton Cheap Shot

There's Welsh Outrage Over The Non-Punishment Of Yoann Maestri For That Sexton Cheap Shot

On Monday, word came from the independent citing commissioner for Saturday's game between Ireland and France that Yoann Maestri had only been given a warning for his deliberate blindsiding of Johnny Sexton after just 13 minutes at the Stade de France.

At the time, referee Jaco Peyper awarded a penalty, deeming the incident unworthy of further punishment or review by the TMO.

In the citing commissioner's statement, the hit was deemed 'just short of' warranting a red card and so the player did not receive a ban.

In The Telegraph on Monday, Daniel Schofield detailed France's recent history of targeting Johnny Sexton and called for the French second row to be banned for the remainder of the Six Nations.

Adding to that, Andy Howell for Wales Online has questioned how Maestri got off so lightly.

Howell also highlights the non-punishment of France captain Guilhem Guirado for his dangerous tackle on Dave Kearney which will likely keeper the winger out of action for an extended period of time.

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Have Six Nations disciplinary chiefs gone soft on foul play?

You have to wonder after seeing France lock Yoann Maestri escape a ban despite being cited for the cynical off-the-ball shoulder charge that laid out Ireland play-maker Jonathan Sexton with the help of a raised elbow.

It followed the unbelievable news Les Bleus captain Guilhem Guirado wasn’t even to be cited after an outrageous high and dangerous challenge which led to Dave Kearney being flattened and forced off with shoulder damage.

Someone of a cynical bent could point out the Welsh self-interest in Maestri being punished. Wales and France, both still well in contention for the Six Nations title, clash in ten days time at the Millennium Principality Stadium. Had Maestri been handed a suspension, a highly important part of the French pack would have been absent from the game.

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PJ Browne
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