Highlanders Newby suspended for one week



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Highlanders loose forward Craig Newby has been suspended for one week after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle in the Rebel Sport Super 14 match between the Highlanders and the Blues at Carisbrook, Dunedin, on Friday 17 February 2006.

Newby faced a SANZAR Judicial Committee hearing in Christchurch today after being cited by Match Citing Commissioner David Gray for the dangerous tackle on Blues first five-eighths Tasesa Lavea in the 19th minute of the match.

The Judicial Committee comprised Tim Gresson (Chairman) and rugby administrators Paul Hewitson and Harvey King.

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

Committee Chairman Tim Gresson said that, at the commencement of the hearing, Newby had acknowledged that the tackle had been dangerous. Accordingly, the hearing related only to the issue of sanction.

In relation to sanction, the Committee determined that whilst the early part of the tackle was legitimate, the final execution of it became dangerous. Newby had lifted Lavea off the ground then released him, causing him to be dropped from a height.

The Committee did not consider that the tackle had the characteristics of a ‘spear’ tackle but, nonetheless, as Newby correctly acknowledged, it was dangerous, contrary to IRB Law 10.4 (e).

The Committee further determined that the dangerous tackle fell within the lower entry band (two weeks) as prescribed in the IRB Regulation 17 Schedule of Recommended Sanctions.

After taking into account Newby’s excellent disciplinary record, the absence of any malice on his part, his genuine remorse for his action and the absence of any injury to Lavea, the Committee determined a suspension of one week was an appropriate penalty.

Newby’s one-week suspension includes the Highlanders match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, South Africa, next Saturday 25 February 2006.

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