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Exeter players to appear before disciplinary panel as play-offs loom

By Sacha Pisani
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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Exeter Chiefs players Sam Skinner and Dave Ewers will appear before an online independent disciplinary panel tomorrow night following a red card and yellow card against Sale Sharks on Saturday.


Skinner was sent off by referee Karl Dickson in the 53rd minute of the match for a high shot on Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk. Ewers was also shown a first half yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Simon Hammersley contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13.

Despite trailing 19-3 when Skinner was dismissed at Sandy Park, Exeter still managed to win the game, which was crucial in determining who out of the two sides finished second and secured a home semi-final in the Gallagher Premiership. The result meant Exeter will host Sale again this Saturday, although Rob Baxter will be sweating over the fate of his two players.

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Dickson explained his rationale regarding the two decisions to his TMO Claire Hodnett during the match. Ahead of brandishing the red card to Skinner, he said:

“We have got direct contact with the head. It’s with high force, there is a high degree of danger and I’m actually not seeing any mitigation at this point because Faf is at the same height he would have been if he was running normally and the player has not done enough to get low.”

Conversely, he also explained why Ewers’ tackle was not a red card offence:

“The only thing we have got to consider here is the fact that the player is being tackled and spinning out of the tackle as the (second) tackler is coming across. For me, that is the only part that I can see for mitigation, so that is what would bring it from red down to yellow because of the spin in the tackle and the change in direction of the ball carrier.”


The independent disciplinary panel for each hearing will comprise Jeremy Summers (chair) with Mitch Read and Olly Kohn.


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