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Stormers lock Adre Smith banned for bite

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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Stormers lock André Smith has copped a hefty ban after being found guilty of biting Munster hooker Niall Scannell.

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Referee Andrew Brace referred the incident to the TMO during last weekend’s match in Thomond Park, with Munster captain Peter O’Mahoney telling him that Scannell “has got a full-on bite mark.” Scannell had been involved in a tussle on the deck with Smith, which resulted in Smith allegedly biting the hooker’s thigh. However, neither Brace nor the TMO felt there was enough evidence to take action during the game.

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

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The disciplinary process has now taken place and Smith was found to have a case to answer.

A URC statement reads: “A Disciplinary Panel convened via videoconference to consider the citing against Adré Smith resulting from the Round 2 United Rugby Championship fixture against Munster Rugby on October 2nd, 2021.

“The player received a Citing complaint under Law 9.12 – A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking.

“The Disciplinary Panel, comprising of Sheriff Kathrine Mackie, Iain Leslie (both Scotland) and Janet Gedrych (Wales) concluded that there was an act of foul play which merited a low range entry point. The Player’s previous record and behaviour during the process were considered and mitigation of 30% was applied.

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As a result, the Stormers second row has been banned for a period of eight games. He is free to play from midnight on Sunday, February 13th, 2022. Smith was reminded of his right to appeal.

Smith was making his debut for the Stormers and will be lucky to play again before the end of the year.

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