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Saracens prop Robin Hislop off the hook for red card

By Ian Cameron
Robin Hislop trudges off after receiving a red card against Saracens.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) have rescinded a red card given to Saracens prop Robin Hislop on the weekend.

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The decision was made after an independent disciplinary panel, chaired by Charles Cuthbert and featuring Martyn Wood and Philip Davies, reviewed the case.

Hislop had been given a red card during the Gallagher Premiership game against Sale Sharks on Saturday for dangerous tackling, a violation of World Rugby Law 9.13. However, after reviewing the evidence presented, the panel determined that the red card was unwarranted and should be downgraded to a yellow card.

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Cuthbert, panel chair said: “Having considered all the evidence, the panel concluded that the red card should be rescinded and an on-field yellow card awarded in its place.

“The panel, having heard evidence from the club and player, found that the player was entitled to mitigation under the Head Contact Process (HCP) having deemed that he was “passive” in the tackle whereas the match officials had decided that there was no mitigation available to the player under the HCP as the player had been “dynamic” in the tackle.”

The decision is sure to be a relief for ‘Bomber’ Hislop and Saracens DoR Mark McCall, who had fought the prop’s corner over the incident. Hislop is free to play and will be on the bench this evening against the Scarlets, the club have said.

Watch the incident below:

The original decision to red-card the prop was meet with opprobrium from many fans on social media, who felt the collision did not warrant a sending-off.

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The case highlights the importance of having independent disciplinary panels in place to ensure that decisions are made fairly and objectively. This decision may spark debate among rugby fans and players alike, but for now, Hislop can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on his team’s upcoming games.

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