Friday, March 30, 2007

Georgie Gregan suspended week for spear tackle

May 9, 2006

Via Rugby Planet:

Wallaby scrum-half George Gregan will not be available for the decisive Round 14 Super 14 match against the Crusaders at Jade Stadium in Christchurch on Friday. Gregan has been handed a one-week suspension for his spear tackle in the 28-26 loss to the Highlanders at the weekend.

A SANZAR Judicial Committee convened on Monday to consider the citing complaint against Gregan, following the incident in the match between the Brumbies and the Highlanders last Saturday.

Gregan was cited by match Citing Commissioner Scott Nowland (Australia) for a dangerous tackle in the 44th minute of the match on Highlander wing Richard Kahui.

And some people are not happy about the light sentence:

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive Gary Flowers has moved quickly to put out the raging fires over the inexplicable lenient one-week ban for Wallaby captain George Gregan, after the Brumbies scrum-half was found guilty of a spear tackle by a judicial hearing on Monday.

But the decision of the all-Australian judicial panel has caused a major outcry, with numerous commentators and critics Down Under calling the lenient sentence a "disgrace".

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie head the list of those demanding some answers, particularly after flank Rocky Elsom was banned for four weeks for punching against the Bulls.

The question being asked is how does the possibility of a split lip and at worst concussion gets you four weeks, but an indiscretion that can cause serious injury and potentially leave the victim wheelchair-bound only warrants one week?

Some went as far as pointing out that Waratahs wing Wendell Sailor copped three weeks for vomiting in a pot plant (also from an Australian DC hearing).

In Australia the media also made references to the fact that rugby league player Michael Crocker was facing a 12-week suspension for a similar tackle.

But Flowers felt the reaction was over the top and said SANZAR, the Super 14 competition's ruling body, is going to review its judiciary system with a view to installing a streamlined independent panel to avoid a repeat of the furore over Gregan's one-week ban.

Flowers, speaking to the Australian Associated Press, said it was unfair to compare the two tackles and defended rugby's stance on safety and illegal tackles.

According to Flowers SANZAR had been considering changes to its judiciary system, including steps to eliminate accusations of home town decisions, before the Gregan tackle.

"One of the possibilities is to move to a system where there are less people involved who are then, as a result of that, more consistent," Flowers told AAP.

"It's likely the SANZAR executive will move to do a review of the judicial committee set up, but that's not a knee jerk to this issue, that's something that's been on the table for some months.

"I understand the notion that justice doesn't just have to be done, it has to be seen to be done."

Flowers denied Gregan's tackle last Saturday, in which Highlanders winger Richard Kahui landed on his head, compromised rugby's image.

"I'd like to dispel a couple of things that some of the press has been bandying about today that our game has been called into question in terms of safety," Flowers said.

"We police high tackles very vigorously, tackles like shoulder charges are policed very vigorously as well.

"There's been a lot of publicity about this one incident. We've got to put that in perspective in what I think is a beat up about safety in our game."

Flowers said the International Rugby Board's rating of dangerous tackles combined with Gregan's long and impeccable record contributed to the lenient sentence.

Croker, however, had a long history of appearances at the NRL judiciary, Flowers said.

"There's a lot of comparison being made with a tackle in another code," Flowers said.

"I just don't think that's necessary or appropriate or helpful.

"The two tackles are quite different in their circumstances, the individual records of the players are quite different. One has had a number of judicial appearances in that code."

Flowers pointed out Highlanders forward Craig Newby also received a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle early in the year.

"In that respects there has been some consistency across rugby," he said.

Source: Rugby Planet


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home