The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC has accepted a guilty plea from Ben Tameifuna of the Chiefs for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, after he was Cited during the Super Rugby Final at the Weekend. Tameifuna tackled Ryan Kankowski of the Sharks, making contact with him above the line of the shoulders.
Tameifuna has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including the 18th of August, 2012
The incident occurred in the 47th minute of the match between the Chiefs and Sharks at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday 4th August 2012.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.
In his finding, Mr Davidson ruled the following:
Ben Tameifuna was cited for a breach of Law 10.4(e) for a dangerous high tackle in the match Chiefs v Sharks played on Saturday 4 August 2012 in Hamilton.
The citing arose from a tackle of the Sharks No. 8 and alleged initial contact above the line of the shoulder with his left arm making contact with the head region.
The incident was not seen by the Referee or assistants. The ball carrier tackled was not injured and continued to play. The citing was based on the nature of the tackle, making contact with the head region, coupled with momentum in the tackle and potential to cause serious injury.
The DJO reviewed the incident and indicated a sanction of one week’s suspension would be imposed subject to breach being admitted. The DJO concluded that contact was anticipated from an orthodox crouched position, the first point of contact wa sto the right arm of the Sharks No. 8 but Tameifuna rose in the tackle and his arm then made contact with the chin / neck region of the ball carrier. It was not thus direct contact to the head, but the way the tackle was executed carried risk of such contact.
There was no injury, and no effect on the game.
In the circumstances, the Lower End entry point of two weeks sanction was considered and allowance for a plea of guilty to one week’s suspension, accepted by the player. Because the competition concluded with this game between the Chiefs and the Sharks, the Rules require consideration of the playing schedule. The DJO was advised that Tameifuna would not play in the final of the Hawkes Bay Club Competition the following weekend, and thus the one week’s suspension imposed is to encompass all rugby up to and including Saturday 18 August 2012, including a scheduled pre ITM Cup match.