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Sean O'Brien's One Week Ban Is Not Going Down Well In Scotland

Sean O'Brien's One Week Ban Is Not Going Down Well In Scotland
Sam Moore
By Sam Moore
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We've already seen how much of the rugby world have been less than enthused with the supposed leniency afforded to Sean O'Brien during his citing hearing yesterday. That's taken a step forward today with former Scottish wing Kenny Logan hitting out at the various decisions that were made in central London yesterday.

Logan has pointed to the differing severity of the ban handed down to O'Brien and the Scottish pair of Jonny Gray and Ross Ford, labelling those decisions "a sick joke".

The two Scottish forwards were banned for three weeks, which is essentially for the rest of the World Cup, for what Logan argues was a rather innocuous clear-out of Samoan flanker Jack Lam at a ruck in last Saturday's match.


The judicial officer ruled that the Scottish pair had been involved in a situation in which they lifted a player "off the ground and tipped him horizontally and then dropped him to the ground". However, Logan has argued that it wasn't a tackle situation but rather a ruck and that both players were attempting to clear out the opposition player.

Logan, speaking in the Telegraph, also highlighted what he perceives as unfair treatment of the Scottish pair. He viewed Sean O'Brien and David Pocock incidents from the weekend as far more malicious and that those players acted with clear premeditated intent whereas the Scottish pair did not.

Pocock clearly knees Baldwin in the back but gets off with a slap on the wrist, and Ireland’s Sean O’Brien gets a week ban after a premeditated punch on Pascal Papé in full sight of the referee, while two Scottish players with a perfect disciplinary record get a three-week ban for clearing out a player with no malicious intent at a ruck just because he fell awkwardly.

There is no level playing field. This is a shameful decision.

Logan believes that these incidents, coupled with his view that they have been mishandled, has taken the gloss of this World Cup.

To be honest I’m at a loss for words – rugby is a physical game and the regulations are supposed to stop players going out to do harm to each other, but no one is suggesting that there was any intent to hurt Lam in this incident. World Rugby has totally devalued a World Cup quarter-final.

Both the Scottish and Irish management have 48 hours since the ruling was given to lodge an appeal. However, it seems far more likely that the Scottish pair will lodge an appeal.

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