Highlanders

Anton Oliver has been cleared of stamping

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Highlanders player Anton Oliver has been cleared of stamping on a Waratahs player in the Rebel Sport Super 14 match between the Highlanders and the Waratahs at Carisbrook, Dunedin, on Friday, 28 April.


Oliver faced a SANZAR Judicial Committee hearing at the New Zealand Rugby Union offices in Wellington today after being cited by Match Citing Commissioner David Gray for allegedly stamping on Waratahs player Ben Robinson in the 56th minute of the match.


The Judicial Committee comprised Bruce Squire QC (Chairman) and rugby administrators Mattie Blackburn and Brian Coulter.


Oliver was represented by his legal representative Warren Alcock and Otago Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Russell Gray.


Committee Chairman Bruce Squire QC said that, after hearing evidence from Oliver and viewing video footage of the incident, the Committee was satisfied that, in fact, another Highlanders player had struck Robinson on the head.


At the same ruck, however, Oliver’s boot had made contact with the shoulder of another Waratahs player lying on the Highlanders’ side of the ruck.  However, the Committee was satisfied the contact made was inadvertent as Oliver was endeavouring to secure possession of the football lying immediately alongside the Waratahs player.


The Committee gave consideration as to whether Oliver’s actions could have been considered reckless in the circumstances, but, in the result, concluded the evidence did not warrant such a finding.


The Citing complaint was, accordingly, not upheld.

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