Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer
Beno Obano – Bath 'disappointed and confused' with heavy Beno Obano ban - GETTY IMAGES

Beno Obano – Bath ‘disappointed and confused’ with heavy Beno Obano ban – GETTY IMAGES

Stuart Hooper, the Bath director of rugby, said the club were “disappointed” and “confused” with the five-week ban given to England prop Beno Obano following his red card against Wasps on Sunday.

Obano will now miss both Bath’s Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday against Montpellier and possibly the final too if Bath qualify.

Obano’s foul play, a dangerous tackle which led to a clash of heads with Wasps flanker Ben Morris and resulted in Morris requiring surgery on his nose, was viewed as a minimum top-end offence by an independent disciplinary panel, with sanctions ranging from a minimum of 10 weeks up to 52 weeks.

The disciplinary panel noted that while the tackle was reckless rather than deliberate, “it was wholly unnecessary and avoidable”, which combined with the injury suffered by Morris led to the incident being viewed as a top-end offence.

The disciplinary panel went on to apply 50 per cent mitigation to Obano’s punishment on account of his remorse, previously clean disciplinary record and good conduct at the hearing, resulting in the final ban of five weeks.

Similar bans this season for dangerous tackles involving head clashes or contact with the head have been viewed as mid-range incidents and resulted in three-week suspensions, with Hooper questioning why Obano’s suspension had been deemed a top end offence.

“I’m very disappointed. When he was given a red card it was inevitable he was going to have a hearing, but I’m disappointed with where it’s ended up, absolutely. I find it very confusing, if I’m honest. I need to seek a bit more clarification about what’s happened there,” Hooper said.

“What I have here is a young man in the prime of his career who wants to be pushing on and playing in big games for this club, and that’s now been taken away. We need to look and make sure we’re clear on why it’s happened.

“I need to understand the details of how they got to that point and the process that gets us there, because I don’t see it as being in line with other sanctions that have been given.

“He’s devastated. Since then he’s been nothing but contrite and completely understands the tackle was too high.”

Meanwhile, Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen has been suspended for six weeks after contesting a charge for dangerous striking with the elbow on London Irish’s Curtis Rona last Saturday. The ban is Esterhuizen’s second of the season.

Source