Belfast Telegraph

Leinster launch their challenge to Cian Healy's ban

By David Kelly

Leinster will appeal the two-week ban handed down to Cian Healy after managing to change the charge against the Irish prop from striking, which could have earned a much lengthier ban, to a lesser offence.

Healy was set to miss both tomorrow's Champions Cup clash with Toulon and the festive derby against Connacht but a successful appeal could yet see him free to play in both as Leinster have asked for the suspension to be lifted before an appeal is heard.

Healy was cited for allegedly striking Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee in the 26th minute of last Sunday's Champions Cup defeat.

The independent judicial officer heard submissions and evidence from Healy, who pleaded not guilty to an offence of striking, as well as Leinster team manager Guy Easterby and legal representative Donal Spring.

After hearing the submissions and evidence, the judicial officer decided the charge of striking could not be proven and it is on this point Leinster argue Healy has not received due process.

However, the judicial officer determined that Healy had committed an act of foul play and, unusually, amended the charge to "dangerous charging or obstructing or grabbing of an opponent without the ball."

The judicial officer found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point. A two-week ban was imposed as Healy already has a history of disciplinary issues.

Gloucester set a record 13th consecutive Challenge Cup victory with a 27-13 triumph over Worcester at Kingsholm.

Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw snaffled 22 points including a try, with former Worcester flanker Matt Kvesic the other Cherry and Whites star to cross the whitewash.

Ben Howard claimed Worcester's solitary try, but reigning Challenge Cup champions Gloucester remain in control in Pool Four, with four successive victories.

Demetri Catrakilis converted Paul Willemse's overtime try to rob Cardiff Blues of a memorable win in Montpellier in Pool Three meanwhile.

Cardiff led 22-16 as the game edged into its final play, but the Welsh region could not hold out, Willemse stealing home and Catrakilis completing the smash-and-grab raid.

Alex Cuthbert's try and three penalties and a conversion from Rhys Patchell put Cardiff 16-6 to the good, with Catrakilis on target with two penalties of his own.

Julien Malzieu's converted try put Montpellier back in contention, before Jarrod Evans' two penalties stretched Cardiff's lead to five points heading into the dying exchanges

Belfast Telegraph


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