Taia ban stands

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8th August 2013

Catalan Dragons forward Zeb Taia has lost his appeal against a three-match ban for a shoulder charge on St Helens half-back Gareth O'Brien.

Taia knocked out O'Brien in an off-the-ball challenge during last Saturday's Super League clash between the sides in Perpignan which Saints coach Nathan Brown described as "disgraceful" and "appalling".

The Dragons believed Taia's suspension, imposed at a disciplinary tribunal earlier this week, was excessive but the Rugby Football League has announced it will stand.

A statement from the RFL read: "Taia was handed the three-match ban, plus a £300 fine, after he was found guilty of committing a Grade C reckless striking with the shoulder offence during Catalans' Super League Round 23 game against St Helens on Saturday August 3.

"Taia appeared before a disciplinary tribunal again this evening to contest the severity of the suspension, but after taking all submissions into consideration, the committee deemed the original sanction of a three-match ban appropriate and ordered the forfeit of a £200 appeal bond."

Catalan reacted with fury after the initial punishment was announced, believing Taia had been harshly treated in comparison with other incidents of a similar nature this season.

They cited a number of examples of players who had received lighter suspensions, or even been cleared, to support their case and chairman chairman Bernard Guasch described the situation as a "scandal".

Coach Laurent Frayssinous said: "I am severely disappointed with the findings of the tribunal.

"This is not the first time one of our players has been suspended for a number of games after similar offences by players from other teams have seen them either escape a ban or pick up a one-game ban."