The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC has accepted guilty pleas from Kane Barrett of the Blues for twice contravening Law 10.4 (b) Stamping or trampling after he was Cited in one instance and Red Carded in another during a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.
Barrett has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 1st August 2013, an effective two week ban.
The cited incident occurred in the 20th minute and the Red Card incident in the 22nd minute of the match between the Blues and Chiefs at Eden Park in Auckland on 13th July 2013.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.
In his finding, Mr Davidson ruled that the more serious incident was that cited. The Red Card incident was a deliberate stamping to the body, being the first of three movements of Barrett's foot to the shoulder and then torso area of a Chief's player he believed to be lying over the ball. It was ineffectual and carried little or no danger. The Citing incident involved reckless application of the foot to the face of another Chief's player as Barrett was seeking to release a ball out of a ruck, resulting in a small abrasion but no other influence on the game.
Applying the totality principle, and following discussion with Mr Aaron Lloyd, Counsel for Barrett, the DJO adopted a Lower End entry point for the Citing incident, of two weeks suspension, but increased that to allow for the aggravating feature of the Red Card incident, and the need to hold players to account for injury or potential injury to the head.
This increased the sanction to a three week period of suspension, but Barrett was entitled to mitigation of one week, for his acceptance of the breaches, and the position indicated by the DJO. He has a very good disciplinary record, and is well spoken of by his Coach, Sir John Kirwan. It appears to be an incident out of keeping with his disciplinary conduct and better is expected of him. He is to captain the Taranaki ITM Cup team.
All SANZAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a Duty Judicial Officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the DJO.