independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Munster blow as 'kick' citing leaves O'Gara facing possible 12-week ban

Munster and Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara has been cited for allegedly kicking an opponent during Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh.

The 35-year-old was reported by citing commissioner Alberto Recaldini after a second-half incident involving Edinburgh second-row Sean Cox during the game at Murrayfield, which Munster won 26-17.

O'Gara, capped 126 times by his country and twice by the Lions, will hope that his previous impeccable disciplinary record will be in his favour when he appears at his ERC hearing in Dublin on Thursday.

The out-half will stand before Jeff Blackett, the senior circuit judge who presided over the infamous Harlequins Bloodgate scandal in 2009, to defend himself, and if found guilty could face anything from a four to a 12-week suspension.

Munster will vigorously defend their talisman against the case presented by ERC disciplinary officer Roger O'Connor.

In over 15 seasons of Heineken Cup rugby, O'Gara has only ever been yellow-carded three times. And in 110 European outings, he has never been sent off for a red-card offence or been previously cited.

The findings of Justice Blackett will be known almost immediately, after which both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (c) (kicking a player) carries the following sanction entry points: low end: 4 weeks; mid-range: 8 weeks; top end: 12+ to 52 weeks.

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