Disciplinary Update

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 May 2012

At a disciplinary hearing today in Cardiff, Mike McCarthy, Connacht lock forward, was cleared of a citing complaint of making contact with the eye or eye area of Glasgow Warriors lock forward, Tom Ryder, in the RaboDirect PRO12 match on 5 May 2012.

At a disciplinary hearing today in Cardiff, Mike McCarthy, Connacht lock forward, was cleared of a citing complaint of making contact with the eye or eye area of Glasgow Warriors lock forward, Tom Ryder, in the RaboDirect PRO12 match on 5 May 2012.

The citing complaint was for an infringement of law 10.4(m): acts contrary to good sportsmanship. The independent RaboDirect PRO12 disciplinary committee, comprising Robert Williams (chairman), Simon Thomas and Aurwel Morgan (all Wales), heard evidence and submissions from Mike McCarthy and his legal representative, as well as from the RaboDirect PRO12 Disciplinary Officer.

The disciplinary committee found on the evidence available, and in particular in light of Mike McCarthy's explanation of what happened in the incident, together with a statement from Tom Ryder, that there had been no contact with the eye or eye area, and that accordingly the citing complaint was not upheld. While the disciplinary committee found that there had been contact with an area in close proximity to the eye, it applied a test from previous cases as to the meaning of 'eye area' and found that Mike McCarthy had not made contact with the 'eye area'. Mike McCarthy is therefore free to play.
Mr McCarthy and the Disciplinary Officer each has the right of appeal.

Note: in the ERC appeal case involving Alan Quinlan in May 2009, the tribunal stated that 'contact by a player with an opposition player's 'eye area' would occur in respect of "any area of the face in close proximity to the eye, where contact would cause a victim to fear for the safety of his eye or where there is substantial risk that there could be contact with the eye"'.