The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC has accepted a guilty plea from Ben Funnell of the Crusaders for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling after he was Cited following a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.
Funnell has been suspended from all forms of the game for One Week until 23March 2013.
The incident occurred in the 60th minute of the match between the Crusaders and Bulls at AMI Stadium Addington in Christchurch on 16 March 2013.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.
In his finding, Mr Davidson ruled the following:
The DJO considered the video footage and the citing report before hearing from the player and his counsel with coach and manager. A dangerous tackle was admitted. The incident was not treated as deliberate foul play but resulted from a poorly executed hold to the neck of the Bulls player which was held as the players went to ground and thus dangerous. The Bulls player suffered concussion and whiplash. He should be ready to play next week but that requires further assessment. The incident was closely considered for Mid range entry level given the clear directives against tackles or holding around the neck or head. The absence of deliberate application of force to the neck was a factor against that. The prompt admission of breach and the young player’s good record allowed for mitigation and the indication given the player was a one week suspension which he then accepted. He was thus suspended for one week up to and including 23 March 2013.