Wallaby Michael Hooper has been cited for striking following an off the ball incident during Australia’s 34-9 Rugby Championship second round victory over Argentina in Mendoza. Hooper will appear before a SANZAR disciplinary hearing on Wednesday this week.
Hooper played provider as lock Dean Mumm went in for a try in the second half, but while in support he was held back by flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.
As you can see in the footage, Hooper lashed out, making contact with Sanchez, who dropped and needed to be treated for a few minutes after the try.
It wasn’t spotted by referee Jaco Peyper or the other officials, so the try stood and Hooper played on. Post match, following initial consideration by the SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Chris Morris, Hooper was cited and will appear at a SANZAR Judicial Hearing, charged with commiting foul play.
Hooper is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking: A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
The Judicial Officer will be Nigel Hampton QC which will be held by video conference on Wednesday 29 July at 5:00pm AEST, 7:00pm NZST, 4:00am ART and 9:00am SAST.
While some may feel that street justice is permitted when players get held back illegally, taking the law into your own hands is not allowed. Hooper is likely to receive a significant ban.
UPDATE: The hearing has been adjourned until Thursday 30 July 2015
Michael Hooper strike on Nicolas Sanchez
Posted by Great Rugby Videos on Monday, July 27, 2015
Note: If the above video doesn’t work for you, you can see another version here, with comments from Phil Waugh