Pau head coach Sébastien Piqueronies has been suspended for 10 weeks following an incident at the end of his side's home defeat in the Challenge Cup against the Cheetahs, last Saturday.
The clip below shows Piqueronies appear to be initially shaking the referee's hand, before pushing him away aggressively on his arm.
He was duly cited by the commissioner, and can count himself fortunate not to have received a tougher sentence, given the laws which are stated below.
'Law 9.28 Physical abuse of a match official
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.28 relating to physical abuse of a match official carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 24 weeks; Mid-range: 48 weeks; Top end: 96 + weeks.'
However, the independent Disciplinary Committee - which included ex-Ulster and Ireland flyhalf David Humphries - deemed that the incident was not physical abuse of the match official, but only a misconduct complaint.
Sébastien Piqueronies Embroiled In Challenge Cup Controversy
A citing complaint has been made against Pau head coach Sébastien Piqueronies for physically abusing referee Sam Grove-White. pic.twitter.com/u3uZ0vKHS9
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) December 13, 2022
Below is a chart taken from the EPCR website, which gives further insight into the citing process.
(ii) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by EPCR for all Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner’s opinion warranted a red card.
b) For such matches, clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 26 hours from the start of the match to make a citing. In certain circumstances this deadline can be extended.