Ferris has tip-tackle case dismissed
February 8, 2012
Stephen Ferris will look to keep his palce in the side to face France on Saturday © Getty Images
Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris is free to face France on Saturday after having his citing for alleged dangerous play dismissed.
Ferris faced a hearing in London this afternoon after being cited for the challenge on Evans in the final minute of last weekend's 23-21 defeat at Lansdowne Road. Following analysis of the video evidence and consideration of the explanation for the tackle, the three-man independent Six Nations disciplinary committee chose not to uphold the citing.
Ferris reacted to the decision on Twitter, saying: "Thank goodness that is all over. Happy man."
The tackle resulted in referee Wayne Barnes issuing a yellow card and penalty, which Leigh Halfpenny landed to snatch victory for Wales. It was widely felt that the tackle, in which Ferris picked up Evans by his right leg and dumped him on his side, warranted a penalty at worst. But the Irish Rugby Football Union have released a statement that suggests the disciplinary panel thought even that sanction was wrong.
"We are obviously delighted that Stephen has been totally exonerated of any wrongdoing by the disciplinary panel and that he is now available for selection this weekend against France," Ireland team manager Mick Kearney said in a statement. "While we understand and fully support the stance to stamp out dangerous tackles in the game to make it safe at all levels, the disciplinary panel itself felt that the decision to award a penalty was incorrect and we also felt that it was a fair and legitimate tackle by Stephen.
"He is a hard and fair player and I think that his previous disciplinary record supports why we felt so strongly about his defence. The focus now for Stephen and the rest of the squad is to prepare for the game against France this weekend."
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