May 25 • General News, Super Rugby • 1536 Views • Comments Off on SILATOLU LATU SUSPENDED FOR FOUR WEEKS

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Hearing Details: 25 May 2015 @ 3:30pm AEST, 5:30pm NZST and 7:30am SAST via videoconference
Judicial Hearing Chairman: Robert Stelzner SC
Player: Silatolu Latu
Team: Waratahs
Position: Hooker
Date of Incident: 23 May 2015
Nature of Offence: Law 10.4 (j) Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.
Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 17th minute

A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Silatolu Latu of the Waratahs guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend. Latu has been suspended for four weeks up to and including Saturday 20 June 2015.

The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 23 May 2015.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was heard by Robert Stelzner SC via video conference at 3:30pm AEST, 5:30pm NZST, 7:30am SAST on 25 May 2015. Mike Mika was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser.

In his finding, Stelzner ruled the following:

“As the Judicial Officer, I considered all the evidence before me including the video footage, additional video provided by the Waratahs, Citing Commissioner’s report, medical information for the Crusaders’ player, Sam Whitelock, who was involved in the incident and the submissions made for the player by his legal representatives, Anthony Black SC and Bruce Hodgkinson.

“After taking all relevant facts into consideration, I found the incident to have a lower end entry point for breaching of 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle which stipulates a four-week suspension.

“Mitigating factors included the fact that the player admitted his contravention of the law, his youthfulness and clean disciplinary record and the character references supplied on his behalf.

“This resulted in the aforesaid period of four weeks being reduced by two weeks. A deterrent of two weeks was however added for this type of offending as it is an action that has sought to be eliminated from the game.

“Latu played a more dominant role in the tackle when compared to the actions of his teammate, Will Skelton, who received a suspension of two weeks.

“The player’s playing schedule is such that there is a significant chance of the Waratahs being involved in the Super Rugby Qualifier and/or Semi-Finals. A four-week suspension will in all probability result in his missing the next four matches of the competition. This is a meaningful sanction.

“The player is accordingly found to have contravened Law 10.4 (j) and is suspended up to and including Saturday 20 June 2015.”

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