Otago’s Slade McDowell was red carded in their Ranfurly Shield defence on 4 October for a high tackle that made direct contact with the opponents head. He has now been suspended, as judicial hearings were handed out on Friday in New Zealand.
At a hearing, the Judicial Officer found that the offence was not deliberate, but reckless with a starting point sanction of six weeks.
The sanction was reduced to three weeks on account of McDowell’s clean judicial record, remorse and acknowledgement of wrongdoing.
McDowell missed Otago’s match against Wellington and will also be side-lined for their fixtures against Counties Manukau and Northland.
IN OTHER DISCIPLINARY NEWS
Vilimoni Koroi received a yellow card in the same match for making contact with an opposition player in the air and was subsequently cited for the incident. The Judicial Officer dismissed the citing and revoked the yellow card, deeming no fault lay with Koroi in the incident.
Taranaki prop Ben May was cited for allegedly punching an opposition player in his team’s match against Auckland on 10 October.
At the judicial hearing, it was agreed that the offence was more appropriately dealt with as a breach of Law 9.20, for making contact with an opponent above the shoulder in a ruck.
May admitted to this breach and the mid-range sanction of a four-week suspension was reduced to two weeks as there was no serious injury to the opposition player, May showed remorse and has good judicial record over his extensive career.
May will miss this weekend’s Taranaki match against Southland and their fixture against Waikato.