Higginbotham free to continue playing SuperRugby

Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby captain Scott Higginbotham is free to play on after a SANZAR Judicial hearing cleared him of stamping or trampling.

A SANZAR Judicial Hearing chaired by Adam Casselden found Scott Higginbotham of the Rebels not guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (b) Stamping or trampling after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

No further sanction has been imposed on the player.

The incident occurred in the 50th minute during the match between the Crusaders and Rebels at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on 13 February 2015.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was heard by Adam Casselden via video conference at 5pm AEDT, 7pm NZDT, 8am SAST on 16 February. David Croft was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser.

In his finding, Casselden ruled the following:

“After hearing from the player and Mr Tim North QC and watching the video footage a number of times, I could not be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the player intentionally or deliberately stamped his opponent.

“I accepted the evidence of Mr Higginbotham that he was attempting to jump over his opponent who was rolling towards him when he miscalculated his jump and made accidental contact with the opponent’s head.

“This evidence was consistent with the evidence of Mr McCaw who stated that Mr Higginbotham immediately apologised to him after the incident saying it was accidental. Mr McCaw accepted Mr Higginbotham’s apology as genuine. “

Hearing Details: 16 February 2015 @ 5pm AEDT, 7pm NZDT, 8am SAST via videoconference
Judicial Hearing Chairman: Adam Casselden
Player: Scott Higginbotham
Team: Rebels
Position: No. 8
Date of Incident: 13 February 2015
Nature of Offence: 10.4 (b) Stamping or trampling. A player must not stamp or trampled an opponent.
Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 50th minute

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