robdylan

3 Weeks for Haskell


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 1 May 2012 at 09:02
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Highlanders flanker James Haskell has received a 3-week suspension for the flurry of punches that saw him yellow-carded during his side’s narrow win over the Cheetahs last weekend.

Haskell’s good disciplinary record, coupled with the excuse put forward that he was being grabbed in the nads (reading between the lines) saw a sentence of 6 weeks essentially cut in half by the SANZAR judiciary.

Mike Heron’s full findings are below:

James Haskell was cited for punching in the Highlanders v Cheetahs match on 28 April 2012 in Bloemfontein. He was given a yellow card on the field, and the incident was referred to the citing commissioner (white card). The matter came to me as Duty JO. After reviewing the relevant material (including the match footage, footage on the SANZAR intranet, citing report, match officials report and a medical report), I followed the Duty JO process via telephone calls with the player, his lawyer and other Highlanders personnel. At the end of that process, I gave an indication of penalty of 3 weeks’ suspension. After having time to consider that, the player accepted that suspension. Accordingly, James Haskell is suspended from all forms of the game for the 3 weeks to and including Saturday 19 May 2012 (that includes three scheduled Super Rugby matches).??My reasons are as follows:??The citing alleged that James Haskell punched the Cheetahs number 7 (Justin Downey) twice, the first with his right hand to Downey’s head (after being held and retaliating) and the second with a left jab in the face. The citing alleged that the second resulted in Downey going down on his haunches holding his face. The footage confirmed that, and Haskell accepted that he had punched the Cheetahs player twice. The citing report also stated that Downey received stitches for a gash on his eyebrow. That was confirmed by the medical report.

I discussed the incident with the player, his lawyer and Highlanders personnel. It was immediately accepted that the conduct did amount to foul play. There were two punches as described in the citing in a very short timeframe, at least the second of which appeared to connect forcefully, and one or other must have caused the injury to the Cheetahs player. I accept, and the footage confirms, that Haskell was responding to provocation in that he was being held into the dissembling scrum (unlawfully it seems) and it appeared that he was being grabbed in a particularly sensitive area. The player agreed that this did not excuse his conduct, but it was submitted and I accept that it was some explanation for the loss of control that occurred. That said, there was no argument that the conduct was unacceptable.

In the circumstances I find that the conduct was intentional, repeated and dangerous, but in the context of what appeared to be significant provocation. I find the conduct warrants an entry point of mid-range. The appropriate starting point in my view is five weeks’ suspension (IRB Regulation 17 Appendix 1).

The injury to the player and the repeated punches are an aggravating factor which warrant an increase of one week in my view, making a penalty of six weeks suspension. In mitigation, Haskell immediately accepted his conduct was unacceptable. He apologised to the Cheetahs player and to me. He expressed significant remorse for his conduct, in particular for the impact it would have on his team. Haskell has a very impressive record over a period of approximately 10 years of professional rugby. I was told that he has no previous citings and has received only a single yellow card in his professional career (which was not for foul play). He has dealt with serious provocation in the past without resort to this unacceptable conduct. He is passionate about his commitment to the Highlanders and expressed sincere regret as to the impact this would have on his time with them. His coach spoke in support of his character and I accept the submissions on his behalf. He received a yellow card, which in turn adversely impacted on the Highlanders during the game (and is some penalty).

To recognise and acknowledge the immediate guilty plea, his impressive record and the sincere remorse shown I am prepared to reduce the sanction by a period of three weeks, resulting in an ultimate sanction of three weeks. ??Accordingly, James Haskell is suspended from all forms of the game for the three weeks to and including Saturday 19 May 2012



36 Comments

  • Ridiculous!

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.05.12 09:29:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 1) : He should have got twice what Butch got

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.05.12 09:33:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    Agreed!

    So just because he got agitated because of his nads, he gets off?

    W.R.T Butch, it was silly though, and his record aint exactly squeeky clean..

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.05.12 09:38:41 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 3) : I honestly reckon these guys lick their lips at the prospect of handing Butch a long ban… and he never fails to provide them with ammo.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.05.12 09:44:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • Taking Haskells previously clean record and the ‘sensitive’ provocation into account, I think 3 weeks is ok.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.05.12 09:47:23 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Maybe the J.O. Reads SW. :) He seems to agree that the punching was in retaliation.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.05.12 09:48:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Butch was hardly retaliating or being provoked as opposed to Haskell who was, expecting double the sentence is a bit much.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.05.12 09:49:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • for the flurry of punches :grin: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.05.12 09:51:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Harsh sentence ;-)

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.05.12 10:27:55 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • SO he’s had 2 yellows and a 1 week ban for a headbutt and that is a clean record? Bloody joke man and that some people are so blind to the fact he got a very light sentence ….. well, idiots.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.05.12 11:03:18 by Mephy Reply

     
  • @Mephy (Comment 10) : can you substantiate that? Cos I’ll ask Greg Peters for comment if you can

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.05.12 11:08:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • Citing commissioners don’t know how to use Google!!

    Who exactly did he ask about his past record, the Highlanders?

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.05.12 11:09:22 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/my_club/london_wasps/7630601.stm

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.05.12 11:09:49 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • Also http://www.rfu.com/TheGame/Discipline/Judgements/Judgements2007-2008/JudgementsbyClubs/GuinnessPremiership/LondonWaspsRFC.aspx

    I can’t seem to open the link to see what the whole story was.

    Courtesy of Deon on Rugby365 story

    http://www.rugby365.com/tournaments/super14/news/2877665.htm

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.05.12 11:11:29 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • @Gaff (Comment 13) : thanks – I’ve asked Peters via Twitter why that wasn’t taken into account.

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.05.12 11:15:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • another story I found, not sure if it was his only yellow that they are referring to, but a swinging arm seems to be in the foul play category to me.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/7753049.stm
    and the incriminating paragraph…

    “Carter did make the score 6-3 when Care went over the top of a ruck but he was wasteful again after Haskell saw yellow for a swinging arm to the head of Rodney So’oialo on 32 minutes.”

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.05.12 11:36:20 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • @JarsonX (Comment 5) : I change my view, Haskell got of lightly :oops:

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.05.12 11:39:16 by JarsonX Reply
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  • It looks possible that the 2007 citing was for making contact with the eyes and ears, but I don’t know the result of the citing and it is possible that he was cleared of wrong doing.

    http://www.premiershiprugby.com/premiership/news/4205.php

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.05.12 11:51:20 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • Yet another citing, where he was found not guilty, but because he missed his target, and not because of lack of intent!

    http://www.wasps.co.uk/news/Wasps30083.ink

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.05.12 11:55:34 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • @Gaff (Comment 19) : Looks like this was the headbutt incident. It could be that he has been cleared of any wrong doing in his citings, and therefore considered to have not been cited.

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.05.12 12:01:38 by Gaff Reply

    GaffUnder 21 player
     
  • @Gaff (Comment 20) : hardly the saint he’s made out to be, though…

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.05.12 12:03:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • There is the story of the little boy whose father tells him that everytime he says something bad about someone he should knock a nail into their wooden fence. Once the fence has plenty of nails in it the father tells the son to go and make amends to the people who he said bad things about and then remove a nail each time he has. Once a lot of apologies had been made and a lot of nails had been removed the father asked the son to look at the fence and asked him what he saw. “A fence full of holes” the boy answered. “Exactly” the father answered, You may take something back once you’ve said it but it doesn’t make it whole again.

    In that vain…@Gaff (Comment 20) : The damage has been done when the accusation was made as can be seen from the fact that the citing is still giving him a bad name.

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.05.12 12:21:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : what exactly is the angle you’re pursuing here, mate? The ruling from SANZAR clearly states that his supposedly clean record was used as mitigation… all Gaff is pointing out is that he doesn’t actually have a clean record…

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.05.12 12:34:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : What Gaff is pointing out is that Haskell was not found guilty of the headbutt but what I’m saying is that that doesn’t really matter because he has already been deemed to not be a saint even though he was found not guilty.

    from all of the above links (some of them dealing with the same story) I only find one guilty citing and a yellow card in 10 plus years of pro rugby.

    Maybe not a saint, but certainly not a thug. :(

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.05.12 12:56:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • When will FL be updated? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.05.12 13:03:48 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : BTW, there was no nad grabbing either.

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.05.12 13:04:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 25) : oh fuck… I forgot!

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.05.12 13:10:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • Has anybody read the article on supersport about Plum? Sounds like now all of a sudden he wants to start coaching.

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.05.12 13:19:14 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinUnder 21 player
     
  • @JarsonX (Comment 25) : done

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.05.12 13:20:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : I can’t look at footage of it at work, but I’d be very surprised if there is no footage of contact in a sensitive area.

    I accept, and the footage confirms, that Haskell was responding to provocation in that he was being held into the dissembling scrum (unlawfully it seems) and it appeared that he was being grabbed in a particularly sensitive area.

    Maybe the J.O. is seeing things that aren’t there…

    While it is possible that the sensitive area being reffered to is the groin area, the only person saying it IS is you.

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.05.12 13:28:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Quintin (Comment 28) : I’m not getting too excited about that…

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.05.12 13:28:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : @robdylan (Comment 29) : :lol: :cool:

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.05.12 13:31:02 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Im not excited at all. Ive heard it before.

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.05.12 13:32:11 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinUnder 21 player
     
  • @Quintin (Comment 33) : my view too.

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.05.12 13:40:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 25) : @robdylan (Comment 29) :

    Cream rising to the top! haha :mrgreen:

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.05.12 06:45:13 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 35) : 51 and 52 for us. Had my best round (12th) but I only climbed 6 spots :roll: :cry:

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.05.12 09:28:24 by JarsonX Reply
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