Pat Lam says he is “shocked” that no disciplinary action was taken following a swinging-arm challenge on Bristol star Semi Radradra. Fijian centre Radradra required treatment after the second-half incident in Friday’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Worcester at Sixways.
Worcester full-back Melani Nanai, who was making his comeback appearance following a three-match ban, was penalised for a high tackle on Radradra.
But he did not receive any further on-pitch sanction, and also avoided being reported by match citing officer Tony Diprose.
Piutau received a three-match ban when he appeared before an online disciplinary panel on Monday, the Rugby Football Union announced.
He will miss Bristol’s next two Premiership matches against Northampton and Wasps, plus a European Challenge Cup quarter-final appointment with the Dragons.
Bristol rugby director Lam said: “I was extremely surprised it (Radradra incident) wasn’t dealt with at the time and extremely surprised that Tony Diprose, the citing commissioner, deemed it not to be a citing offence.
“We were shocked at that because clearly I see that as a red card. The way the process is is that the citing commissioner has the final say.
“If he feels that Siale Piutau defending himself as two guys come in at him is a red card and self-defence, and yet feels that the Semi Radradra one with a swinging arm with full contact to the face is not, then the one thing about the process is that we can’t do anything about it.
“Tony Diprose has the only say on it. I didn’t speak to him about it. We have to move on and let it go.
“Unfortunately, Siale has to go through the judiciary the night before a game (Bristol play Northampton on Tuesday), and the Semi Radradra one we had to let slide because we can’t do anything about it.
“If that was the World Cup, everyone would have seen it. We just have to live with it and we can’t do anything about it.”
Bristol return to Ashton Gate to face Saints, with Lam underlining his hope that spectators might soon be allowed back.
Harlequins’ Premiership game against Bath on Saturday was watched by 2,700 fans in English rugby’s first crowd test event following a five-month interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It was widely viewed as a success, raising hopes that other fixtures this season could be chosen.
Lam added: “I would love to have them (spectators) at the Dragons game in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final (on September 18).
“It is a big day for the club and for our community, so that would be awesome.
“And then hopefully follow it up with a (Challenge Cup) semi-final, and then we have got Leicester in the Premiership. The sooner the better.”
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