Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo has been suspended for one week for carelessly trampling on a player in the Hurricanes and Waratahs Super 14 match at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Saturday night.
Super 14.com reports that So’oialo was cited by Citing Commissioner John Wootton for allegedly stamping or trampling on Waratahs player Phil Waugh in the 65th minute of the match, and appeared before SANZAR Judicial Officer Bruce Squire QC at the New Zealand Rugby Union offices in Wellington this afternoon.
So’oialo was represented by counsel Tim Castle and supported by Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper and manager Tony Ward.
At the hearing Mr Squire received reports from the match referee and assistant referees, viewed video footage of the incident and heard evidence from So’oialo, his Hurricanes coach and team manager.
Having viewed the video footage, Mr Squire indicated there was reason to believe that the boot of another player, not So’oialo, was possibly responsible for the head injury to Waugh.
Although So’oialo conceded his boot had made contact with Waugh’s head, the point of contact appeared, from the videotape, to be different from that where the injury had been sustained.
Mr Squire found the contact So’oialo made with Waugh was clearly not intentional but, nonetheless, found that it demonstrated an unacceptable degree of carelessness and risk of injury to that player.
For that reason, the citing complaint was made out.
In relation to penalty, a number of features were advanced including So’oialo’s largely unblemished record and his reputation and stature as a senior rugby player.
Mr Squire also heard evidence from the coach and manager of the Hurricanes team as to the leadership role So’oialo had within the Hurricanes team make-up and other services, largely unpublicised, he has performed for the community.
In the result, and because the act for which he was cited was accepted as being at the lower end of the applicable scale of culpability, So’oialo was suspended for one week up to and including 23 February 2009.
As a result, So’oialo will be unavailable for selection for the Hurricanes’ next match against the Highlanders in Wellington this Friday.Tweet