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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shane Jennings cited for alleged eye gouge on Nick Kennedy

Leinster flanker Shane Jennings has been cited for an alleged eyegouge on London Irish lock Nick Kennedy during their 12-9 loss on Friday in the opening round of the Heineken Cup.

There was a scuffle on the floor in which he looked to have made contact with the eye or eye area, which led to second rower Kennedy protesting vociferously to both Jennings, and later, French referee Romaine Poite.

You can clearly hear him saying that Jennings stuck his finger in his eye.

Citing commissioner for the match, Scottish official Richard McGhee, lodged the charge for alleged contact with the eye/eye area of Kennedy, which is in contravention of Law 10.4 (l) - Acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

An ERC statement said that the independent Judicial Officer would be appointed as soon as practicable.

Jennings remains eligible to play in the Heineken Cup in advance of the hearing, with a date for the hearing not set yet.

Interestingly, when asked about it by captain Bob Casey the next day, Kennedy admitted that he had overreacted, but citing commissioner Richard McGhee has still ruled that Jennings has a case to answer.

The IRB will meet today to discuss the perceived leniency of bans handed out by judicial officers during the summer for similar offences, namely to Schalk Burger and Sergio Parisse.

They are considering giving themselves the right to appeal if they feel the suspension is not sufficient for acts such as eye-gouging, that they consider ‘heinous’. The consistency of all decisions will also be discussed.

If Jennings is found guilty, he is sure to get a more severe ban than what we saw earlier this year for the same offence. We’ll keep an eye on things as they develop.

UPDATE: Jennings has received a 12 week ban, and will not be able to play again until the 6th of January . He has the right to appeal.

Time: 03:24
Note: We've included the ensuing scuffle in this clip, for interests sake.



  • Crazy to do that nowadays, especially following the summer. Looks pretty guilty to me.

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at October 13, 2009 3:49 pm  

  • i think leinster are aiming to overtake munster as the most the hated side in europe. i dnt want that tho i actually like kearney fitzgerald and BOD.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 3:52 pm  

  • i think he just likes his scrum cap and wants to wear it for a while....

    seriously hes totally guilty of hands where they shouldnt be

    By Blogger Kenny, at October 13, 2009 3:54 pm  

  • Agree... while on the ground you could almost catch the moment when he did it.
    He should be punished in my opinion, if you want to hurt someone do it with your fist closed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 4:02 pm  

  • Leo Cullen attempted Eye gouge on Kennedy at 3:18.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 4:23 pm  

  • It was interesting when he pinged Paice and Heaslip since they didn't really do all that much - it was needed to calm the game down, but it made me wonder...for a team, would it be better to have your no. 8 or your hooker?

    What a boring match, anyways. The scuffles were well-nigh the only exciting things going on.

    By Anonymous alfa, at October 13, 2009 5:26 pm  

  • this eye gouging is happening way to regular now it is ruining the game they will have no choice of even longer bans soon

    anyone spot the BFG???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 5:44 pm  

  • alfa is obviously the type of person who doesn't actually enjoy rugby, just watching people spring in tries from 60metres.

    It was far from a boring match.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 6:55 pm  

  • it would be nice if they could get the highlights from the Leicester-Ospreys and Toulouse-Sale matches up soon... There does seem to be a priority placed on reporting the unseemly stuff these days.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 6:59 pm  

  • Anonymous above - rugbydump is, and never has been, a highlights channel. Take what you get, or go elsewhere.

    Also, fyi, using a name and posting in the right place might help towards your request being taken seriously.

    By Anonymous Shaft, at October 13, 2009 7:11 pm  

  • Thanks for the insight, anonymous. CLEARLY I hate rugby. If I can't appreciate a match where the only points in 80 minutes come from penalties, then I must really detest the game.

    The London Irish looked powerful in their forwards and Tagicakibau had a good match, Nacewa injected some pace in his running, and Fitzgerald did well in attack and putting pressure on Homer time and time again...yeah, that was all good. But I'd be surprised if either side went over 5 phases before kicking it and turning over possession. I guess I'm the stickler if I get bored by "Sexton kicks, Hewat returns, Nacewa garryowens, Irish win it, ruck, kick, kick, kick, ruck, penalty, lineout, repeat" for 80 minutes.

    The game in of itself wasn't the most boring game I've seen - far from it. But when you've got other Heineken Cup matches to watch like Munster-Northampton, Leicester-Ospreys, and Glasgow-Biarritz to compare this to, this game was pretty stale.

    By Anonymous alfa, at October 13, 2009 7:56 pm  

  • Pretty average game but the ref definately needed to brandish cards to get the game back on track, the two that went off may have been a little unlucky though. Couldnt see conclusive evidence of a gouge although Kennedy's reaction says it all.

    Shaft, I'll think you'll find a section called "Highlights" to the left.

    By Anonymous BigTaff, at October 13, 2009 8:08 pm  

  • Alfa,

    For your information, Glasgow Biarritz was a horrific match!

    Usual story, good battling Scottish side with a decent pack (albeit a rubbish line-out), so about evens up front but the difference is that Glasgow have no creativity or penetration so never looked like scoring a try. Biarritz got the sucker punch through Lund's questionable try (if anyone else saw it they'll know that there's no way that the TMO could have been sure that it was Lund not the defender's hand that got it down) although Biarritz never really showed much in attack themselves apart from the occasional spark from Ngwenya. The basques were happy to pick up the kicking points and take away the win.

    By Anonymous John F, at October 13, 2009 8:17 pm  

  • It looks like a fishhook to me but quite hard to be sure

    By Blogger Simon, at October 13, 2009 8:19 pm  

  • I do agree that eye gouging has to be stamped out.

    I also worry that all a player has to do now is make the accusation and its semi guilt automatically.

    He said himself he overreacted. What does that mean exactly? Like a soccer striker trying to get someone sent off?

    Now, again let me repeat that gouging has to be stamped out. Where it is clear and without question, it needs significant bans, not like (the eye) burg(l)er's one during the Lions on Fitzgerald.

    And yes it is worrying that it seems to be happening even more these days.

    But its becoming a wee bit more complex than the more black and white issue it seemed to be.

    By Anonymous mise, at October 13, 2009 10:13 pm  

  • thats bullshit!!! if its the little bit at the start thats just where his hand was. nothing to it play on...

    By Anonymous irish 101, at October 13, 2009 10:24 pm  

  • Jennings shat himself a bit when kennedy gto up!

    By Anonymous Joe, at October 13, 2009 10:41 pm  

  • "I do agree that eye gouging has to be stamped out."

    I love the irony of that line...

    What's the deal with irish flankers taking an interest optometry lately.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2009 11:17 pm  

  • I didn't think there was much in it, he puts his left hand on Kennedys face but it's hard to make out if his fingers were intentionally in or around the eye. Plus, if Kennedy says he overreacted, well then?

    By Blogger Lorcan, at October 14, 2009 3:50 am  

  • In fairness to alfa it was a boring match. People are always so quick to jump down other peoples throats on this site. So much aggro. While it may have been tight and tense the kicking was aimless at the best of times, especially by Irish. Absolutely no ambition shown by Leinster. Just all round poor considering the potential the fixture had.

    Hodgson is so overrated. Another overhyped English player by Sky Sports.

    By Anonymous Rob, at October 14, 2009 7:08 am  

  • I think the overreaction report basically means that he said he overacted by shouting and swearing in front of the ref. PLUS, he's probably a bit of a hard man and despite a finger going in his 'eye-area', he realised that it didn't actually hurt.

    I doubt he's the type who WANTS to get another player suspended. I dont think it means that Jennings is innocent by any stretch of the imagination.

    Overreacting doesn't mean he lied about the finger in the eye, just that he got a bit mouthy about it, imo.

    By Anonymous Dave, at October 14, 2009 9:17 am  

  • You guys laid into Schalk Burger with such abandon. Now the scourge of eye gouging seems rampant in your own backyard.


    By Anonymous Robert, at October 14, 2009 11:26 am  

  • Can't make out a whole pile from the video but he definitely had his hand up where it should not be.

    I was trying hard to ignore your comment Robert but without success. You are tripping without luggage if you consider that footage to show an incident in the same league as what your mate Schalk got up to in T2 this Summer.

    And anyway, who wouldn't lay into a gouger ? That is, any gouger ? If Jennings gouged, he deserves a hefty suspension, no doubt. What does what Schalk did (eh got away with) in the Summer have to do with it ? If you're not just passing through on your way to a Free Bakkies rally, you may remember Leinster v Munster in the Heineken Cup Semi and the trenchant criticism in these quarters of Alan Quinlan for an incident less grotesque than Berger's misconduct.

    The main difference, at this point in time, is that what Berger did was, objectively on the footage, a fully intentional and serious attack on his opponents eye. You can't draw the same conclusion from this footage.

    I definitely agree that at minimum he's got his hands where they shouldn't be though and will have to take the consequences. As to whether its any more serious than that, will depend on what the witnesses say happened.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at October 14, 2009 11:41 am  

  • Jennings shouldn't have put his hands there, simple as. However surely Kennedy has a case to answer for if he over-reacted and attempted to get someone sin-binned ? Or am I just not cynical enough ?

    Agree that cards needed to be shown but I don't think Heaslip deserved it, Kennedy threw a pretty nasty punch in the scuffle and LI player who started it by going at Reddan should've been at least talked to.

    Match was very exciting if not top quality.

    ALL GOUGING should be stamped out regardless of who does it

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at October 14, 2009 1:49 pm  

  • Sorry apologies Kennedy didn't throw a punch there it was at another part of the game.

    By Anonymous third centre, at October 14, 2009 1:54 pm  

  • he got a 12 week ban

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at October 14, 2009 5:44 pm  

  • Yeah 12 weeks, up to and including January 6th. Harsh or fair? what do you reckon?

    By Anonymous BigTaff, at October 14, 2009 5:48 pm  

  • Hard to know from the video if gouging took place. But i've just read he got 12 weeks.
    Hopefully they'll stick by their judgement and leave it at that because everyone seems to be having their bans reduced on appeal these days! Why bother sayin 12 weeks if your gonna reduce it down to 8 or 10 next week! Doesn't exactly send out the message that they're serious about cutting out gouging.

    & Robert above I think it may have been the combination of, the blatentness of Schalk Bergers gouging, de Villiers stupidity in trying to defend it and the let off he got from the disciplinary panel that us guys (whoever that is) "laid into Schalk Burger with such abandon."

    By Blogger Tron, at October 14, 2009 7:18 pm  

  • That was just as blatant as Burgers - the only difference was the camera angle and the amount of replays.

    A finger in the eye area is a finger in the eye area, as much as you are probably too ashamed to admit it.

    If one good thing has come from this its that you will see that it's not only 'THUG' south africans who can commit dirty offences, but rugby players in general.

    I hope this humbles (and even embarrasses)the Irish fans, who were probably the most vocal when it came to making a fuss of the Burger incident, thus overshadowing the Lions' loss.

    My point stands though - rugby players, playing a physical sport with a lot of tension, can do foolish things. It's not about where they come from.

    Quinlan & Jennings, Burger, Parisse, Best, Hartley.. there's more. Don't label one nation, as was done throughout and since the Lions series.

    My two cents on the matter.

    12 weeks is good, as long as everyone gets 12 weeks from now on for the same offence.

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at October 14, 2009 7:33 pm  

  • Franky above....Nobody ever labeled SA as thugs and cheats, we only ever labelled Burger as one.In fact we were quiet sympathetic to Bathies for is completely unneccessary ban. And the fact that Burger got such a light suspension and Jennings is now banned for 12 weeks until January will give you another reason why we northern Hempispehere folk might have a bit of a chip on our shoulders regarding these types of incicdents.Completely inconsistent decisions are why these incidents are still happening.

    By Anonymous themull, at October 14, 2009 8:45 pm  

  • 12 weeks...a bit odd that he didn't get 8, but whatever. He gouged someone's eye (whether intentional or not) and deserves the punishment.

    On a side note, does Jennings have a history of foul play or is this pretty much the first time?

    By Anonymous miner, at October 14, 2009 9:40 pm  

  • On the plus side for Leinster, Sean O'Brien, while not an out and out openside, is a much better player than Jennings and will prove so in the south of France v Brive. He's essentially the new David Wallace, with better ball skills.

    Leinster don't really need a groundhog 7 when they've got O'Driscoll and Darcy as back up opensides anyway.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at October 14, 2009 11:14 pm  

  • Any other gouging I’ve seen always has the gouged player in a lot of pain and holding their eye. Kennedy didn't appear to do any of this. Combined with Bob's comments that Kennedy said he over reacted, you would have to conclude that this was a lot of hot air.
    This being the first opportunity for the IRB to clamp down on very poor citings from the summer, will leave Jennings with a ridiculous ban for nothing.
    12 weeks is crazy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2009 11:16 pm  

  • What is going through cheikas head?
    Anyone explain to me why the best full back in the world is sitting on his ass when leinster are playing totally crap.

    They need Kearney back in the squad bad.

    Nacewa is just crap

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2009 11:53 pm  

  • Hard to see anything definite from the video, his hand is in that area so probably was at something nasty, only i dont see how its twice as bad as that of mr burger's! Still bemuses me how someone with burger's discipline record and how obvious he did it for everybody to see. 12 weeks for this 6weeks for that? How can the powers that be justify it?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2009 12:10 am  

  • anon you're dead right about Kearney, get him in there. I dread to think of the consequences if he got bored waiting for his place.

    By Blogger Lorcan, at October 15, 2009 12:56 am  

  • 12 weeks will be reduced to 8 no doubt.
    the match was always going to be fiercely contested but i expected better of jennings.
    great picture quality btw RD :) x

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2009 2:57 am  

  • The IRB are clamping down, finally. They're also being pretty open about the fact that this ban is stronger, and in future all eye-gouging bans will be for this time period (probably).

    In their eyes (couldnt help myself), there's definitely no comparison between previous incidents and this one, except that the previous incidents should have been dealt with more severely, hence this ban being longer.

    In other words if Parisse and Burger did their poking tomorrow, they'd also get 12 weeks, from what I understand.

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at October 15, 2009 10:48 am  

  • in the footage it looks like jennings' left hand is near kennedy's right eye. but when he gets up kennedy is pointing at his left eye. so i reckon whatever happened happened before the replay... kennedy would have to be some lunatic to make it up.

    By Anonymous biff, at October 15, 2009 2:38 pm  

  • eye gouge.

    the video clearly shows his fingers in/eye area.

    If he isnt gouging, someone tell me wht the hell he IS doing? picking his nose?????

    they should make the ban far more harsh, give him 6 months and see how frequent it is then.

    most people on this site are rugger players, of all standards, there isnt a place for it in our beloved game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2009 6:42 pm  

  • Yeah I am pretty much of the view that if harsh bans are what's required to get this out of the game then that's what has to be done...keep your fingers away from each other's faces lads, and there's no problem.

    By Blogger Richard, at October 15, 2009 9:48 pm  

  • Read today in the Irish Independent that Kennedy himself spoke at the hearing 'exonerating Jennings from any wrongdoing' and his captain Bob Casey said Kennedy admitted he overreacted.
    I understand the eagerness of the ERC disciplinary committee to come down hard on this, and thus some punishment for recklessness may be acceptable. But all circumstances considered should he be banned until January? Seems harsh


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2009 12:35 am  

  • He's a disgrace to the game you wouldnt see john hayes do that!!! :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2009 10:02 am  

  • irish players are starting to take the blame for some pretty ok stuff if one knows their rugby..best was wild, quinlan was unlucky, jennings didn't do anything..gouging is defined by a specific intent to put two fingers into an opponents eye area..not by sky sport's avarice to make money,make,make money
    rugby is older than this ..
    i hate gouging..on my rugby hates it has been demoted by shit new zealand and south african referees..not their interpretation of the rules,just their hideous blindness..
    shit celebrity players
    ..danny the goat cipriani,freddy chatellaux
    athletes replacing heroes
    me....you arrogant fux
    all irish audiences observe the same silence..only one has to enforce it


    By Blogger wolonel, at October 18, 2009 5:25 am  

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