England and Northampton’s Dylan Hartley has been banned a MASSIVE eight weeks for biting the finger of Stephen Ferris during the Six Nations clash with Ireland.
Many in the game feared that Hartley’s poor disciplinary record, including a 26 week ban in 2007 for bravely gouging the eyes of two fellow professionals, would see him receive a draconian punishment for his latest infringement.
However, the Six Nations hearing gave Hartley just eight weeks; four weeks less than the entry level for a biting offence.
The citing panel wisely said that the four week reduction was appropriate as the gouging was so, so long ago.
In a stunning coincidence, the ban finishes in time for Hartley to travel to South Africa with England in the summer.
Well done to all concerned.
Meanwhile, referees have been told to continue producing yellow or red cards for any player who even thinks of mistiming a tackle in any way which may, if it ever happened and wasn’t just in their head, may lead to something which looked a little bit like a tip tackle.
After all, deterring foul play is all important for our great game.
PLEASE NOTE: For legal reasons we would like to state that the picture of the personification of Justice which accompanies this article was NOT gouged by Dylan Hartley.