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Michael Rhodes banned for 6 weeks

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :In the news, Lions, Super Rugby on 31 May 2011 at 07:12
Tagged with : , , , reports Highlanders wing Siale Piutau has been found guilty of punching but escaped being banned because of “exceptional circumstances”. However, Lions flanker Michael Rhodes has been banned for six weeks from the same incident in last Friday night’s Super Rugby match in Dunedin.

The pair attended judicial hearings in Wellington yesterday and Sanzar released the decisions today.

Both players were cited after an incident in which Rhodes used a dangerous headlock to clear Piutau at a ruck. The wing retaliated by twice punching Rhodes to the head.

Sanzar judicial officer Nick Davidson QC ruled that Rhodes had flipped Piutau over in a dangerous manner “placing his head and neck at serious risk of injury”. Davidson added that video evidence showed Piutau in a highly compromised and dangerous position.

Davidson ruled that to make Rhodes’ suspension effective it should encompass six matches and rule him out of all rugby up to July 31. Rhodes has the right to appeal.

But while Davidson found Piutau guilty of punching he decided not to sanction the wing because of the “exceptional circumstances” of the incident.

Davidson ruled that whilst Piutau admitted to foul play he had been “seriously compromised” in the incident.
Piutau’s reaction was that of someone who had been “seriously endangered”.

Davidson added that to impose a sanction in these circumstances “would not reflect the effect on Piutau of the incident and a reaction that was the product of shock rather than retaliatory intent”.


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