The Reds have decided against exercising their right of appeal against the four-week suspension handed down to scrumhalf Will Genia for a ‘spear’ tackle, but will formally request that the Super 14′s governing body reviews the consistency of sentencing across the competition.
Rugby 365 reports that the Reds will also invite the SANZAR Judicial Officer who presided over Genia’s hearing to speak to the Reds playing squad to explain the reigning interpretations on the range of penalties that will apply to different offences.
Genia was ordered to appear before SANZAR judicial officer Paul Tully after the Citing Commissioner at last Saturday’s match reviewed video evidence of a ‘spear tackle’ on Sharks flank Keegan Daniel. The tackle attracted a penalty although no action was taken against Genia at the time as neither the referee nor the assistant referee could identify the Reds player involved.
Both match officials conferred and agreed it would have been a yellow card offence had the player been identified.
However, Tully ruled during the hearing that the referee’s view of the seriousness of the offence was wrong and that it should be regarded as a “dangerous tackle” worthy of a red card and therefore warranting a “mid-range” entry point under IRB Regulation 17, which would attract a six-week suspension. Genia was given a two-week concession by Tully due to his impeccable record and this being his first offence.
Reds head coach Phil Mooney said previous suspensions for similar tackles in the same competition had pointed to Genia’s case being “low-range”.
“If that view has changed, we need to know so we can reinforce to players the importance of correct tackling technique and the implications of getting it badly wrong,” Mooney said.
“Similarly we’d like the comfort of knowing that there’s a uniform approach to offences across the whole competition – all 14 territories and three nations. I may be wrong but at the moment that does not appear to be the case.”
Mooney said referees were often asked to speak to the team about particular problems that might arise in order to improve communication and player discipline.
“We think the same benefit could be gained by inviting Tully to speak to our players about the sort of penalties that can arise in particular situations, so everyone knows where they stand.”
Mooney said the Reds were confident that Genia was expertly represented by Brisbane barrister Mark Martin and remain extremely disappointed with Genia’s suspension for three games out of the regular season total of 13. However after seeking further expert advice it was decided that the chance of a successful appeal was extremely slim.
“We’ll cop it on the chin but we hope that some good may come of it in terms of improved communication and understanding between players and judiciary and a more consistent and transparent judicial process for the competition as a whole,” Mooney said.
The QRU requests will be detailed in a letter to SANZAR.Tweet