Former All Black Guildford suspended for 4 weeks

Zac Guildford knows this could be his last chance

Former Crusaders and All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has been suspended for
four weeks after a guilty plea was accepted by New Zealand Rugby Duty Judicial
Officer (DJO) Chris Morris for a lifting tackle which contravened law 10.4(j),
in an ITM Cup Hawke’s Bay match last week.

Guildford was released from his Top 14 Club contract earlier this year and
returned to New Zealand where he has been playing ITM Cup rugby for Hawke’s Bay.

The former
All Black was linked to a move to Sydney and the Waratahs but his latest suspension
will be a big setback as he works his way back to earning a Super Rugby contract.

The incident occurred in the 58th minute of the match between Hawke’s
Bay and Counties Manukau that was played in Pukekohe on Friday 28 August. Hawke’s
Bay won the match 35-11.

A tackle that ends with a player lifted and then dropped to the ground with
their head and/or upper body coming into contact with the ground first is considered
particularly dangerous due to the risk of serious injury to the tackled player.

Guildford acknowledged his actions were a breach of the law and he accepted
his wrongdoing.

Mr Morris indicated a low end entry point and, in line with SANZAR decisions
this season, added two weeks as a deterrent to these tackles before offering
a two week discount after taking into account the player’s remorse, admission
of responsibility and clean on-field judicial record when considering the sanction.

Guildford has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks up to,
and including, Thursday 24 September 2015.

This means that he will miss Hawke’s Bay’s next four ITM Cup matches
against North Harbour (5 September), Canterbury (12 September), Bay of Plenty
(19 September) and Auckland (24 September).

This season, ITM Cup on-field disciplinary matters are in the first instance
referred to an appointed DJO to allow the option of expediting the judicial

For a matter to be dispensed with at this early stage, the person appearing
must plead guilty and accept the penalty indicated by the DJO. If the player
does not accept the charge or the indication, then the matter is referred to
a full hearing with another Judicial Officer.

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