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'He's got a full on bite mark' - Stormers lock could face citing over incident

By Ian Cameron
Niall Scannell of Munster appeals to a touch judge about an alledged biting incident by an opponent during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and DHL Stormers at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Munster and Stormers have been left waiting to see whether or not an alleged biting incident that occurred during their match at Thomond Park on the weekend will be taken further.

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Munster came away with a 34 – 18 win in the United Rugby Championship second round encounter, but an apparent biting incident has left a sour taste in the home side’s mouth.

Munster hooker Niall Scannell emerged from a ruck after tussling with Stormers lock Adré Smith as Jean Kleyn scored his 45th minute try. Scannell remonstrated with the assistant referee before showing referee Andrew Brace his upper thigh.

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Brace then ordered a TMO review of the incident.

During his deliberation, Munster captain Peter O’Mahoney could be heard telling Brace: “Yeah, 100 per cent, but he [Scannell] has got a full on bite mark.”

Brace felt that the footage as reviewed at the time was not sufficient to warrant an onfield action – which would have been a red card – though Smith could be seen with his head between Scannell’s legs and his face pressed against the hooker’s upper thigh.

“If there’s anything clear the citing officer will deal with it,” concluded Brace, before the game resumed.

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Munster head coach Johan van Graan addressed the incident, saying: “Niall reported that to Pete (O’Mahony) on the pitch, the referee had a look at it, they couldn’t see any evidence of it, but we’ll go through the right channels.

“He will be (examined). We haven’t spoken to the medical team as such but that will take place later tonight, any player who reports anything to the medical team will be looked at.”

Smith – who was making his debut for the Stormers – could face a minimum entry-level ban of 12 weeks for a biting offence, should he be cited and found guilty. Biting is considered one of the most heinous acts under Regulation 17 and can receive a maximum ban of up to four years.

The citing commissioner has 48 hours to make his decision on whether or not to pursue the incident.

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