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Case Detail

Case Number:

ON/1831/22

Ebon Scurr #16, Bradford Bulls

Competition:

Championship

Match:

Bradford Bulls v Widnes Vikings

Match Date:

2022-09-11

Incident:

Other Contrary Behaviour

Decision:

Charge

Charge Detail:

Law 15.1 (i)

Other Contrary Behaviour

Grade F

Fine:

£250

Sanctions:

8+

Decision On Charge

Player plea:

Guilty but challenge grading

Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence:

Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 12th September 2022, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(i) Other Contrary Behaviour

The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred at 01:22:00 SharePoint time of the above match. In the Panel’s opinion you became involved in an incident and inappropriately grabbed the genital area of your opponent. The Panel believe that your actions were unnecessary, against the spirit of the game and had the potential to injure your opponent.

In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade F offence in breach of Law 15.1(i) – Other Contrary Behaviour

The normal suspension range for such offence is 8+ matches or period of suspension.

• Player charged under RFL Rule 15.1(i) Behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of the game.
• The incident was placed on report by the match referee.
• During a tackle, the player can be seen move his left hand towards the genital region of his opponent.
• The hand it would appear goes towards the region with an open hand.
• The player keeps the hand in the area for a period of time.
• The opponent immediately reacts after the tackle and puts his hand to that area.
• There is an immediate report to the referee afterwards.
• In the Referees report Mr Farnworth states that Mr Scurr had “grabbed my xxxxxxx xxxx.”

Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence:

Player in attendance alongside Jason Hirst (CEO). Player pleads guilty but challenges the grading.

ES talked the panel through the incident. He explained that contact was not intentional and that whilst carrying the ball in his right arm he was trying to use his left to grab the opponent to use him as a lever to try and win the tackle.

This kind of action is not in his nature and that any contact was careless and certainly not done intentionally. He was not in aware he had made contact with the opponent in that way and as soon as he heard the opponent react, he let go of his grip.

JH added that ES had an exemplary record. They accept that his hand was in the area but there was certainly no intent or malice involved. The player is very remorseful for how things had turned out and the player and club will accept a suspension.

Decision:

Guilty plea

Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)

Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction:

• Charge is akin to testicle attacking which starts at Grade F.
- Unnecessary and not part of the game.
- Clear intent due to the nature of the contact – could not be accidental. There was no reason for Mr Scurr to put his hand where he did.
- No place in the game for such acts.
- Brings the game into disrepute.

Reasons for Decision:

It is clear to the Tribunal that there is contact in the genital area.

The opponent reacts immediately as he jumps away and puts his hand to his groin and complains immediately that he’s been grabbed. In the Tribunal’s view we can see no reason for there to be such contact.

Mr Scurr spoke very well about this incident and spoke of trying to grab at the opponent’s shirt whilst looking for a leaver to grab in order to win the tackle. If that was the case then the Tribunal note that the hand initially was on the outside of the player but did not make any attempt to push or move the player at that point. Instead, his hand moves to his genital area where it remains for a short period of time.

It was not momentary contact and had this been inadvertent it would have been apparent to the player where he had hold of the opponent.

The Tribunal accept that this was utterly out of character and that is was a moment of madness that is very much regretted. However, the Tribunal are satisfied that it was intentional and given the area that was attacked we are satisfied it is a Grade F offence.

This is therefore a serious matter which requires serious sanction. Whilst the MRP seek a sanction of 10-matches, given the impeccable character of the player we limit the sanction to 8-matches and a £250 fine.

Suspension:

8 matches