South Africa: Player appeals 7-game biting ban
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — An Australian rugby player in South Africa is appealing his seven-game ban for biting, saying he sunk his teeth into an opponent’s arm by mistake because he had his mouth open while scoring a try.
The South African Rugby Union said Friday that Griquas lock Rory Arnold’s appeal hearing had been postponed until Monday. He was found guilty following a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and banned until after Oct. 19, ruling him out of the rest of the regular season in the domestic Currie Cup.
Arnold was sent off straight after scoring in a game last weekend and following a television review prompted by complaints from Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke, who showed bite marks on his arm to referee Craig Joubert.
In his defense at his initial hearing this week, Arnold said he crossed the tryline with his mouth open and pressure from a tackle forced his head down and onto Reynecke’s forearm. A judicial officer still ruled Arnold was guilty of biting “on the balance of probabilities and relying particularly on the victim’s immediate and spontaneous reactions and the doctor’s evidence.”
Arnold was the second player in a week to be punished for biting in southern hemisphere rugby, a transgression that can result in up to a four-year ban in serious cases. Argentina No. 8 Leonardo Senatore was suspended for nine weeks for biting South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth in a Rugby Championship test in Mendoza on Aug. 24.