Hurricanes lock Broadhurst banned for one week

Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst will miss this weekend’s Super Rugby match on Friday against the Highlanders after he was banned for kneeing Blues flanker Luke Braid in the head.

Broadhurst has been suspended for one week so he will miss only miss one match for the Hurricanes. despite Braid being concussed by the incident.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC accepted a guilty plea from James Broadhurst of the Hurricanes for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Stelzner said that he thought Broadhurst’s action was accidental but careless so the Hurricanes lock has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week up to and including 20 March 2015.

The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the match between the Hurricanes and Blues played at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North on 13 March 2015.

In his finding, Stelzner ruled the following,”As the Duty Judicial Officer, I heard from the player and his representative, Mr Aaron Lloyd. Having considered the video material, including those supplied by the Hurricanes, I was satisfied that the player did not deliberately strike his opponent, Luke Braid, with his knee to his opponent’s head but did make contact in a careless manner. This is supported by the video evidence and the player’s account of the incident.

“The player was being held as he was trying to move away from the ruck, being made to go somewhat off balance by being held, and in the process of extricating himself from the ruck to get back into the defensive line, the player brought his body weight down forcibly onto his opponent. In the process of doing this, the player struck his opponent on his cheek with his lower leg causing his opponent’s head to hit the ground and subsequently suffer concussion symptoms.

“The player accepted he had contravened Law 10.4(a) and expressed remorse for doing so. He also apologised to his opponent after the match. The player is 27 years of age with a clean record, never having been cited before in more than 50 Super Rugby matches.

“SANZAR Judicial Rules and World Rugby Regulations permit a discount of more than 50 per cent of the prescribed sanction in circumstances where there are compelling off-field mitigating factors and where the sanction would otherwise be wholly disproportionate to the level and type of the offending.

“Given the above mitigating circumstances and the fact that the transgression was more careless than deliberate, albeit with unfortunate consequences for his opponent, I came to the conclusion that a sanction of a one-week suspension was appropriate in the circumstances of this incident.

“Accordingly, the player is suspended for one week up to and including 20 March 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.

SANZAR Judicial Rules 9.3
In cases involving offending which has been classified as low end pursuant to Rule 9.4 where there are off-field mitigating factors and the Judicial Officer or Duty Judicial Officer considers that the sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the level and type of offending involved, the Judicial Officer or Duty Judicial Officer may impose less than 50% of the low end sanction including in appropriate cases no sanction.

World Rugby Regulation 17.19.7
In cases involving offending that has been classified pursuant to Regulation 17.19.2 as lower end offending, where:
(a) there are off-field mitigating factors; and
(b) where the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer considers that the sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the level and type of offending involved; the Disciplinary Committee or Judicial Officer may apply sanctions less than 50% of the lower end entry sanctions specified in Appendix 1 including in appropriate cases no sanction.

Duty Judicial Officer: Robert Stelzner SC
Player: James Broadhurst
Team: Hurricanes
Position: Lock
Date of Incident: 13 March 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 incident occurred: 61st minute

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