Rebel Weeks Super Rugby season over after ban

Laurie Weeks will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season after he was suspended for punching Jannie du Plessis in his team’s 25-21 loss to the Sharks on Saturday.

Weeks has been suspended up to and including 20 June 2015 which takes his beyond the regular Super Rugby season and the Rebels can no longer qualify for the play offs so Weeks’s season has ended.

Weeks retaliated to a punch to the back of his head from Jannie du Plessis with several blows to Du Plessis.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden has accepted a guilty plea from Laurie Weeks of the Rebels for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was sent off during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

The incident occurred in the 29th minute of the match between the Sharks and Rebels at Growthpoint KINGS PARK in Durban on 29 May 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden assessed the case.

In his finding, Casselden ruled, “As the Duty Judicial Officer, I considered all of the evidence before me including video footage leading up to the incident and issuing of the red card, match official reports for the incident and the submissions of Mr Tim North QC which he made on behalf of the player.

“I found the incident to have a mid-range entry point which stipulates a five-week suspension. This was then reduced by two weeks due to Weeks’ prompt admission of guilt, remorse for his actions and excellent disciplinary record.

“The applicable entry point for determining the seriousness of the offence was determined by the excessive overreaction of multiple strikes by the player when compared to the act that initially provoked him to commit the offence.

“Looking at the player’s schedule, the Rebels have two weeks of Super Rugby remaining before the end of the Regular Season and they are unable to make the Finals Series. I received formal notification from the Rebels and the player’s club team in Melbourne, Southern Districts, that he was scheduled to play the following week. After taking all these factors into consideration, I found that a suspension of three weeks was warranted for the offence which was accepted by the player.

“The player is suspended for three weeks up to and including 20 June 2015.”

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.

Duty Judicial Officer: Adam Casselden
Player: Laurie Weeks
Team: Rebels
Position: Prop
Date of Incident: 29 May 2015
Nature of Offence: 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
Elapsed time in match when offence occurred: 29th minute

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