Rees called to face disciplinary panel

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The Independent Online

Richie Rees helped Cardiff Blues hold off a late recovery by Ospreys to clinch a 27-25 Magners League victory yesterday, but the scrum-half's day was tarnished by being called to a disciplinary hearing in Dublin in the wake of his citing after the Blues' Heineken Cup defeat by Northampton last month.

Rees will face the disciplinary panel on Thursday, having been accused of making contact with the "eyes/eye area" of Saints hooker Dylan Hartley. The England lock Dave Attwood has also been charged with stamping on the face of the La Rochelle prop Petrisor Toderasc during Gloucester's Amlin Challenge Cup defeat at Kingsholm on 19 December. The disciplinary guidelines dictate that a low-end ban for stamping is two weeks; the top-end suspension is nine, with the maximum of a year.

Rees is likely to face a lengthy ban if he is found guilty of gouging Hartley, an offence the International Rugby Board is clamping down on. The minimum ban is 12 weeks with a maximum of 156.

The Blues director of rugby, Dai Young, said earlier this week that Rees was surprised to be cited because he could not recall any incident in the game. Rees's case will be heard by independent judicial officer, Pat Barriscale. Yesterday Rees's half-back partner, Dan Parks, kicked 14 points, including two drop goals, as Cardiff won the Welsh derby thanks to a first-half points spree.

Tom James and Richard Mustoe each crossed the Ospreys line and Parks's boot did the rest in establishing a 24-3 half-time advantage. Ospreys rallied after the break. Two tries from Paul James and Tommy Bowe and another late score by Andrew Bishop closed the gap, but Parks kept Cardiff ahead.

Meanwhile, Wales and England will meet in the opening game of the 2011 Six Nations at the Millennium Stadium on 4 February.