Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park has been cleared to play in Friday’s Champions Cup round of 16 clash with Connacht.
Gibson-Park had been cited for a high tackle on his opposite number Kieran Marmion during the round of 16 first leg last Friday. The tackle left Marmion bloody and needing attention, but the referee deemed the force of the hit only sufficient for a yellow, despite what the commentators and many fans thought.
Working for BT Sport, Brian O’Driscoll commented that “it is very hard to see any other colour than red.” It is hard to disagree with O’Driscoll’s comments given the nature of recent high-profile red cards, in particular Charlie Ewels against Ireland.
However, the independent disciplinary committee made up of Philipe Cavalieros, Yannick Jauzion, and Mitchell Read, decided that referee Kieran Dickson’s on field decision was the correct one.
"He's very lucky. There's no doubt."
Do you agree with Karl Dickson's decision to show Jamison Gibson-Park a yellow card for this challenge?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 8, 2022
The EPCR released the following statement in response to the incident:
“Gibson-Park was cited by the match citing commissioner, Maurizio Vancini (Italy), for allegedly tackling the Connacht scrum-half, Kieran Marmion, in a dangerous manner in the 56th minute of the match in contravention of law 9.13.
“The independent disciplinary committee comprising Philippe Cavalieros (France, chair), Yannick Jauzion (France) and Mitchell Read (England) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Gibson-Park, who did not accept that his act of foul play warranted a red card, from the player’s legal representative, Derek Hegarty, from the Leinster head of rugby operations, Guy Easterby, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan.
“While the committee determined that Gibson-Park had committed an act of foul play, it found that his action involved a low degree of force which did not warrant a red card. The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Gibson-Park is free to play. EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”
Leinster face Connacht on Friday at the Aviva Stadium, with the home side taking a 26-21 lead into the game which kicks off at 5pm.