Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes has been suspended for a week for a charge into a ruck that put an end to Chiefs lock Michael Allardice’s season. Goodes pleaded guilty to the offence that left Allardice with a ruptured medial ligament in his left knee.
Goodes contravened Law 10.4 (h), Dangerous Charging, as he came in from the side and took out the knee of Allardice. The Chiefs lock was visibly in pain but the incident wasn’t picked up by the referee or TMO at the time. After the citing, it was viewed as a red card offence.
Law 10.4 (h) A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without use of the arms, or without grasping a player.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC said that after reviewing the footage at different angles, as well as the medical report and submissions from Goodes’ representative, he found that Goodes was attempting to bind and clear out Allardice in a legal manner.
However as his position changed slightly, Goodes ended up missing his intended point of contact. “There was an element of recklessness involved in the manner with which the clean out was attempted, but there was not a reckless disregard for the other player’s safety.
“This was a clean out that started as a legitimate attempt and went wrong in a matter of seconds with unfortunate consequences which the impact of another player may have contributed to,” said Stelzner. Read the full disciplinary hearing statement
Allardice will be out of action for up to eight weeks, which makes his expected return date somewhere around the time of the Super Rugby final. Despite the injury, the promising 23-year-old has been retained by the Chiefs, signing for another two years.
In his finding, SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC ruled the following:
“I reviewed footage of the incident from different angles, still images of the incident that were relevant to what occurred and a medical report detailing the injury to the Chiefs player, Michael Allardice.
“I heard submissions made by Mr Aaron Lloyd on behalf of the player admitting the breach of the law as charged and what it was he was attempting do when he committed the offence.
“Goodes entered the breakdown intending to bind with his left arm on to the Chiefs player in order to clear him out and away from the ball. However, split seconds before making contact, the player slightly changed his position so that he bent further down towards the ball and moved slightly away from Goodes.
“This resulted in Goodes missing his intended point of contact on the upper body of his opponent and instead made contact with the knee. The different point of contact meant Goodes did not bind or grasp his opponent when making contact.
“Goodes submitted that it was not his intention to strike his opponent on the knee, but to grab him around his shoulder to remove him from his position over the ball. The incident occurred in a matter of seconds and the actions involved from both players resulted in the changed point of impact from upper body as intended to the knee. The video and still images support this submission.
“The action resulted in a serious injury to his opponent which was possibly aggravated by the action of another Hurricanes player, Ben Franks, who attempted to clean out Allardice at the same time from the other side of the breakdown.
“The offending was a lower end breach of Law 10.4 (h) and was not intentional or deliberate in my view.
“The player should have been aware of the possibility of not being able to bind onto his opponent properly given their body position and there was an element of recklessness involved in the manner with which the clean out was attempted, but there was not a reckless disregard for the other player’s safety.
“This was a clean out that started as a legitimate attempt and went wrong in a matter of seconds with unfortunate consequences which the impact of another player may have contributed to.
“I found there to be no aggravating factors to be taken into account. Mitigating factors that I took into account include the player’s good record, his culpability and full cooperation and making concessions where required for his actions in committing the breach and the remorse he expressed at the fact his opponent had been injured.
“As a result of these mitigating factors, I reduced the suspension by 50 per cent to a one week suspension which was accepted by the player. Therefore, the player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including 23 May 2015.”