Tune gets off the hook




The judicial hearing that followed the citing of Ben Tune of the Reds for a possible dangerous tackle found for the player.

The citing commissioner Mike O’Leary had cited Tune for his tackle on Highlanders Aaron Bancroft in the 39th minute of the match.

The hearing was conducted by judicial officer Nick Davidson QC. Tune was represented by Reds coach Eddie Jones, Reds manager Luca Liussi and legal representative David Shand.

Referee Marius Jonker and touch judge Gary Wise gave evidence and video footage was viewed at the hearing.

The report states the following:

Mr Davidson said the citing report recorded that the incident did not appear to be seen by match officials at the time. In fact, the referee and touch judge Mr Wise both saw the incident. In the case of the referee it warranted no intervention and in the case of Mr Wise it would have warranted a penalty but this was not communicated to the referee.

Mr Davidson asked the referee and Mr Wise to give evidence on whether the video footage reflected their observations during the match. They confirmed that their view had not changed.

The conclusion reached was that the tackle by Tune began in an orthodox way but was magnified by Bancroft pivoting and jumping into the tackle. This had the effect of him being driven upwards from where his twisting and the continuation of the tackle turned him into the ground.

There was no injury to Bancroft and he landed on his arm and elbow.

Mr Davidson said, in this case, the rules required that the Judicial Officer must be satisfied that the referee’s reasons for his decision were wrong. The referee was adamant that he saw no danger in the tackle and Mr Davidson said he applied the onus of proof in favour of Tune.

365 Digital

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