Posted on Thursday, 15 Dec 2022
The Toyota Cheetahs back row, Oupa Mohoje, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s EPCR Challenge Cup, Round 1 match against Section Paloise at Stade Hameau.
Mohoje was cited by the Citing Commissioner Csaba Priskin (Czech Republic), for a dangerous tackle on the Section Paloise centre, Yvan Reilhac, in the 26th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.13.
Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous
tackling carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.
An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Marcello d’Orey (Portugal), Chair, Matthew O’Grady (England) and Tony Wheat (Ireland) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Mohoje, who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the player’s legal representative, Marius Botha, from the Toyota Cheetahs Team Manager, Ashwell Rafferty, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
After consideration, the committee decided to amend the charge to one of dangerous play at a ruck or maul in contravention of Law 9.20.
Law 9.20 A player must not charge into a ruck or maul
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.20 relating to dangerous play at a ruck or maul carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks.
The committee found that Mohoje had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card and it determined that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
Due to the player’s clear disciplinary record and his guilty plea, it was decided to grant him the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.
Mohoje is free to play on Monday, 16 January 2023, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 9 January 2023.
Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.