Wednesday 26 October 2016

Yoann Maestri issued with warning but not cited for 'cheap shot' on Johnny Sexton

Published 15/02/2016 | 19:24

Yoann Maestri will be free to face Wales
Yoann Maestri will be free to face Wales

French second row Yoann Maestri has escaped sanction for a nasty shoulder on Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton in Les Bleu's 10-9 victory at the Stade de France on Saturday.

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France have been heavily criticised for the way they targeted Ireland's number 10 in their victory at the weekend but the citing commissioner for the game has said that the player does not deserve a ban.

Maestri gave away a penalty in the 13th minute when he hit Sexton with a shoulder a long time after the flyhalf had passed the ball on.

Referee Jaco Peyper awarded a penalty, which Sexton dusted himself down to slot for Joe Schmidt's side, but did not feel that the hit warranted a yellow card.

The statement from the Six Nations read: "A Citing Commissioner Warning has been issued to the French second row, Yoann Maestri, following an incident in the 13th minute of the match between France and Ireland on Saturday, 13 February 2016 in the RBS Six Nations Championship.

"The independent citing commissioner reported that Mr Maestri had used his shoulder in making contact with the Ireland outside-half, Johnny Sexton, which resulted in Mr Sexton being knocked off his feet.

"The citing commissioner concluded that Mr Maestri had infringed the World Rugby's laws of the game and that his actions fell 'just short of' warranting a red card. Mr Maestri has been informed of the Citing Commissioner Warning."

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