Dylan Hartley and how the worrying rise of ‘orange cards’ undermines referees | Paul Rees

The case of the Northampton captain’s citing has once again shown the gap between how referees and disciplinary panels view the same incident

Dylan Hartley in a jam again, the headlines might have read this week after the England captain was invited to tread a familiar path and plod to a disciplinary hearing to answer a charge of foul play.

Indeed, on Wednesday, when Hartley was cleared of striking an opponent’s face, Northampton were indignant, insisting the citing, a result of reputation rather than the seriousness of the incident, should never have been brought.

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