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XV of France: why Dupont was suspended from work for four weeks, and the South African Du Toit “only” for three

These are sanctions that are still grist for those who struggle to understand the scales used by world rugby authorities. On Thursday, Antoine Dupont was suspended for four weeks, while South African Pieter-Stef du Toit received only three.

Recall that the scrum midfielder and captain of the Blues was sent off last Saturday during France’s XV victory over the Springboks in Marseille (30-26) for a dangerous tackle on Cheslin Kolbe. The South African winger was in the air and Dupont accidentally knocked him off balance by landing hard on his neck. He left the field on concussion protocol. As for Peter-Stef du Toit, he was also ruled out due to a confrontation with Jonathan Danti, who was also eliminated. How can one explain such a difference, when the gesture of a South African seems, at first glance, much more “nasty” than that of a Frenchman?

Dupont will resume competition on December 18th.

For Dupont, the Disciplinary Committee retained as criteria the contact with the head (for Kolbe), the reckless nature of the gesture, and the fact that it puts the opponent in a vulnerable position. Intentionality is not preserved. This all culminates in an “entry point” in the form of an eight-week suspension, reduced to four, because the scrum half pleaded guilty, has a good disciplinary record, and expressed remorse for his good behavior in general.

It also retains the head contact and reckless nature of the gesture for Du Toit, as well as the fact that he injured the opposing player (but not that he was put in a position of vulnerability, which is less serious). Thus, the entry point is lower, six weeks of suspension, reduced to three weeks for his good disciplinary record and good behavior. On the other hand, the third-tier South African pleaded not guilty. He can even reduce his final sanction to two weeks if he follows the World Rugby head-contact training program, allowing suspended players to shorten their absence.

Antoine Dupont will be able to resume competition on December 18 with Toulouse for receiving Sale from Ernest-Vallon in the European Cup. Until then, he will miss Sunday’s Test match against Japan with France’s XV, two days of Top 14 against Lyon and Perpignan and the European Cup match in Munster.

Source: Le Parisien

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