Bulls flank Deon Stegmann has been suspended for three weeks for his spear tackle on Hurricanes centre, Conrad Smith in Friday’s Super 14 match between the Hurricanes and the Bulls at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Rugby 365 reports that Hurricanes lock Jason Eaton also appeared before SANZAR judicial officer Peter Hobbs at the NZRU offices in Wellington on Saturday after being cited in a separate incident.
Stegmann was cited by Citing Commissioner Steve Hinds for a dangerous tackle on Smith in the eighth minute of the second half. Smith was up-ended in the tackle, landing heavily on his head and had to leave the field to receive medical treatment.
At the hearing Hobbs viewed video footage of the incident and received reports from the referee Matt Goddard, the match assistant referees and the Hurricanes medical staff.
At the outset of the hearing, Stegmann accepted that he was guilty of making a dangerous tackle. After hearing submissions on the issue of penalty and taking all matters into account, he was suspended for three matches.
As a result, Stegmann will be unavailable for selection for the Bulls upcoming matches against the Highlanders, Crusaders and Waratahs.
Eaton was cited for allegedly stamping or trampling on Bulls lock Bakkies Botha in the 10th minute of the second half of the match. As a result of the incident, he was given a yellow card by referee Matt Goddard.
Hobbs said Eaton had accepted that he had made contact with Botha with his boots during a ruck but did not accept that it was stamping or trampling as described by the Citing Commissioner.
Hobbs said that under the rules determining disciplinary matters such as this, a judicial officer is not entitled to depart from the decision of a referee if the referee has seen and dealt with an incident, unless the judicial officer is satisfied that the reasons given by the referee for dealing with the matter in that way were wrong.
Having heard evidence from the referee as to his reasons, and submissions Hobbs decided that he was not entitled to interfere with the referee’s decision and impose any further sanction.Tweet