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'Low degree of force' sees Gibson-Park free to play after hearing

By Liam Heagney
(Photo via EPCR)

Ireland scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park has been cleared to play for Leinster in Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 second leg match versus Connacht after a citing complaint against him was dismissed at a disciplinary hearing. 

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The second-half tackle that the Kiwi put in on Connacht’s Kieran Marmion was hotly debated following the 26-21 win by Leinster in Galway last Friday, with some people believing it was a red card offence. 

That theory was put to the test by the resulting citing complaint, but it was found that Gibson-Park hadn’t committed a red card foul and can line out in the upcoming Aviva Stadium rematch if selected by Leinster boss Leo Cullen. 

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Mike Brown | Rugby Roots
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Mike Brown | Rugby Roots

An EPCR statement read: “A citing complaint against the Leinster replacement scrum-half, Jamison Gibson-Park, arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 first leg match against Connacht at The Sportsground has been dismissed following an independent disciplinary hearing by video conference. 

“Gibson-Park was cited by the match citing commissioner, Maurizio Vancini (Italy), for allegedly tackling the Connacht scrum-half, Kieran Marmion, in a dangerous manner in the 56th minute of the match in contravention of law 9.13.

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“The independent disciplinary committee comprising Philippe Cavalieros (France, chair), Yannick Jauzion (France) and Mitchell Read (England) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Gibson-Park, who did not accept that his act of foul play warranted a red card, from the player’s legal representative, Derek Hegarty, from the Leinster head of rugby operations, Guy Easterby, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan.

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“While the committee determined that Gibson-Park had committed an act of foul play, it found that his action involved a low degree of force which did not warrant a red card. The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Gibson-Park is free to play. EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

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