Maestri avoids ban for Sexton shoulder charge


France lock Yoann Maestri has escaped a suspension for his controversial shoulder charge on Jonathan Sexton in the first half of Saturday's Six Nations victory over Ireland.

Maestri sent Sexton flying to the ground with a late hit at the Stade de France, but referee Jaco Peyper - who had a clear view of the incident - decided a penalty alone was sufficient punishment. 

Ireland's fly-half recovered to split the posts with the resultant kick, but failed to complete the match, having been the victim of a number of heavy challenges.

The approach of France prompted Joe Schmidt to lament what he perceived to be lenient officiating, Ireland's coach stating: "We're disappointed there wasn't more action taken for things that happened off the ball."

However, a review of Maestri's challenge on Sexton has determined the second row's actions "fell 'just short' of warranting a red card".

Maestri has received only a warning from a Six Nations citing commissioner and will be available when France, who have won each of their first two matches, face Wales in Cardiff on February 26.