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Argentina pair called to disciplinary hearings

August 27, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina forwards Leonardo Senatore and Pablo Matera will have disciplinary hearings on Wednesday after being accused of biting and eye gouging in the Rugby Championship test against South Africa.

No. 8 Senatore was cited for allegedly biting South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth on the arm during Saturday’s game in Mendoza. Flanker Matera was accused of making illegal contact with the eye area of Francois Louw at a ruck.

South Africa won 22-17.

The pair could face bans of between 12 weeks and six months, although biting has a maximum punishment of a four-year ban in extreme cases. Eye gouging can be punished with up to a three-year ban.

SANZAR said Tuesday the two players’ separate hearings would take place by video conference after they were cited following a review of game footage. Reviewing the incidents, SANZAR initially ruled that both met the “red card threshold for foul play” and Senatore and Matera could now miss games against New Zealand and Australia later in the championship, a further blow to the Pumas, who lost their first two games against the Springboks.

Argentina’s next fixture is away to world champion and top-ranked New Zealand on Sept. 7.

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