May 28 • General News, Super Rugby • 1223 Views • Comments Off on WILL SKELTON APPEAL DISMISSED #SuperRugby

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Hearing Details: 28 May 2015 @ 5pm AEST, 7pm NZST, 9am SAST via videoconference
Appeals Committee: Lex Mpati (Chairman), Adam Casselden, Chris Morris
Player: Will Skelton
Team: Waratahs
Position: Lock
Date of Incident: 23 May 2015
Outcome of original SANZAR judicial hearing: At a SANZAR judicial hearing on 25 May 2015, SANZAR Judicial Officer, Robert Stelzner SC, found Will Skelton guilty of contravening 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.

The player was suspended for two weeks.

A SANZAR Appeals Committee, chaired by Lex Mpati (South Africa) and comprising Adam Casselden (Australia) and Chris Morris (New Zealand) has unanimously dismissed an appeal brought by the Waratahs against the decision of a judicial hearing that found Will Skelton had contravened Law 10.4 (j) – Lifting Tackle.

The Committee dismissed the appeal on the basis that the appellant was unable to prove that the Judicial Officer’s initial finding was in error, or that the sanction imposed was manifestly excessive.

As to the appeal against the finding of a contravention of Law 10.4 (j), the Committee was not moved by the submissions made on behalf of Skelton by counsel, Bruce Hodgkinson SC, that but for the participation of another player, Silatolu Latu, the tackled player would not have been taken through the horizontal such that his upper body came into contact with the ground first.

As to the sanction imposed, it was argued, amongst others, that the Judicial Officer erred in holding that Skelton was reckless in the execution of the tackle. The Committee found no fault with the Judicial Officer’s finding and determined that the initial two-week sanction was appropriate. As such, the player remains suspended from all forms of the game for two weeks up to and including Saturday 6 June 2015.

No order was made for costs.

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