New Zealand Rugby Duty Judicial Officer (DJO) Chris Morris has accepted a guilty plea from Tasman prop Ross Geldenhuys who was cited for contravening law 10.4(a) Striking a Player, in an ITM Cup match on the weekend.
The incident occurred in the 67th minute of the match between Tasman and Canterbury that was played in Nelson on Saturday 3 October. Canterbury won the match 41-25.
Geldenhuys acknowledged his actions were a breach of the law and accepted his wrongdoing, expressing remorse and concern for his actions.
Mr Morris found this to be a lower end offence with an indicative starting point of a two week suspension. However, after taking into account Geldenhuys’ lengthy professional career without any appearances of a judicial nature and noting the player’s culpability, he applied a one week discount to the period of suspension.
Geldenhuys has been suspended from all forms of rugby for one week up to, and including, Thursday 8 October 2015.
This means that he will miss Tasman’s next ITM Cup match against Taranaki in New Plymouth tomorrow (8 October).
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 process.
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.