Pen-wielding Treviso coach hit with six-week ban

Players clash at BT Murrayfield
Players clash at BT Murrayfield
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A BRAWL at BT Murrayfield during which Edinburgh Rugby player Fraser McKenzie was struck near the eye by a Treviso coach wielding a pen today sees the visiting Italian official starting a six-week ban.

Trouble flared towards the end of Edinburgh’s 48-0 Pro-12 win in late December and spilled over to the touchline. A disciplinary hearing last night found that Treviso strength and conditioning coach Giorgio Intoppa had been “reckless” by entering the field with a pen in his hand.

Intoppa appeared before an independent Pro12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee, having been charged with misconduct relating to an incident in which he made contact “with or close to the eye” of McKenzie, who plays either lock or blindside flanker.

A statement from the Pro 12 said that in upholding the misconduct complaint the act had been reckless rather than intentional. They said Intopp should have known he could have caused injury to another person or persons.

Oral evidence was provided by two Edinburgh players to the committee chaired by Roger Morris of Wales, as well as video footage.

Intoppa was banned until March 15 with a right to appeal and ordered to pay costs.

The immediate aftermath of the mayhem led to Treviso prop Romula Acosta being banned for six weeks for punching Edinburgh’s Grayson Hart.

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons was cautious afterwards but hinted something untoward had occurred and that an investigation would follow.

Solomons said at the time: “I made the point to the players they have to keep their discipline and not get embroiled. We will have a review and get a clear picture.”

Dougie Fife summed up the fracas, saying: “Everybody just saw a bit red [and] it was pretty horrible the few punches that guy landed.

“Grayson Hart didn’t like what he saw and he got involved in a one-on-one.

“When I saw him [Acosta] hit Fraser McKenzie, I thought ‘surely this isn’t going to carry on?’

“It didn’t seem to stop and that was the biggest problem.”