The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen has accepted a guilty plea from Chris King of the Highlanders for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
King has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week up to and including 17 May 2014.
The incident occurred in the 54th minute of the match between the Highlanders and Lions at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday 10 May 2014.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen assessed the case.
In his finding, Mr Ingwersen ruled the following:
“Having viewed the video footage and the Citing Commissioner`s report, I held a teleconference with Mr King and his counsel Mr Aaron Lloyd. King accepted a breach for the cited offence.
“King, assisted by his Counsel, explained the dynamics of the incident and submitted that he had no intention of striking his opponent but that the raising of the arm and the contact was an unintentional product of a blocking action. It is common cause that no injury resulted and that the opponent continued playing after some brief attention.
“I concurred with Mr Lloyd`s submission that the incident had an entry point in the low range which starts at a two week suspension. No aggravating circumstances prevailed and given the player`s exemplary and clean record in a long and distinguished career, along with the fact that he accepted responsibility for his actions and pleaded guilty, I reduced the suspension to one week.
“The player`s playing schedule was considered and the effect of the suspension is that he is suspended up to and including 17 May 2014.”
All SANZAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a Duty Judicial Officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the DJO.