Wednesday Feb 25, 2015 Three Kiwis banned for punching or striking in Round 2 of Super Rugby

Three Kiwis banned for punching or striking in Round 2 of Super Rugby
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It has been an eventful few days for Kiwi forwards, as three were suspended following striking and punching incidents in round two of Super Rugby. Owen Franks, Kane Hames and Hayden Triggs will all be out of action for a few weeks.

To start with, Crusaders and All Blacks prop Owen Franks has been banned for two weeks for striking after he targeted Josh Hohneck of the Highlanders twice in their clash on Saturday.

Replays were shown of the Franks incident but the referee didn’t bother to check, so he stayed on the field. A citing followed however, and he was given what some may say is a fairly lenient sentence considering the intent he showed.

“The player submitted that he was attempting to remove the Highlanders player from the wrong side of maul,” SANZAR Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner said. “His intention was to remove the player, who was quite bigger than him, by grabbing him around the chest which would require some force, then using his bodyweight to attempt to force his opponent down and away from the ball.

“The player conceded that in these attempts, he struck his opponent with his arm in a careless way, but there was no malice intended. After taking all relevant facts of the incident into consideration, I found the incident to have a lower end entry point for breaches of 10.4 (a) Punching or striking which stipulates a two week suspension,” Stelzner noted.

In the same match prop Kane Hames of the Highlanders had a go at Crusaders lock Dominic Bird, clearly connecting with his cheek. It also wasn’t picked up at the time, but he has since been suspended for 5 weeks.

“After taking all relevant facts of the incident into consideration, I found the incident to have a mid-range entry point which stipulates a five week suspension,” Stelzner said.

“Several aggravating factors for the case included the injury to Mr Bird and a deterrent for this type of conduct occurring in the game, resulting in a two week increase to the sanction. This was then reduced by two weeks due to Hames’ remorse and prompt guilty plea for the incident.”

In the case of Blues lock Hayden Triggs, his incident was a bit different in that there wasn’t much footage available. All we could really see was him having a swing (or two) at Duane Vermeulen, causing the burly number eight to fall to the floor.

Triggs received a straight red card, putting his team at a disadvantage, which the duty judicial officer took into account. He also noted that Triggs was acting in retaliation, although he didn’t reveal what specifically provoked the punches.

“I found the incident to have a low-range entry point which stipulates a two-week suspension. This was then reduced by one week due to Triggs’ prompt admission of guilt, remorse for his actions and excellent disciplinary record in over 10 years of playing professional rugby,” Stelzner said.


27 Comments

  •  bunn
    bunn

    A few points. How is 'he was bigger than me sir' a defense? Franks in a international prop with 67 caps so he doesn't struggle for physicality and also is listed as heavier the Hohneck! Also how is punching in the face not a red card (as some people have argued)? It's so dangerous and many people are killed in fights with a single blow to the head. It is also deliberate, intends to cause harm as well as not benefiting your team as it's a act for the good of you.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Eddie, it's fine if they want to include the red card as part of the punishment, however they ought to reword it better... I mean they pretty much said they've reduced the guys ban because his team suffered.... well... yeh... that doesn't make any sense.. Whilst we are all individual thinkers (well 4-15 are) running around on a pitch, we are part of our teams, therefore our actions and subsequent punishments are on a collective front, if I punch a player and get red carded, the referee is punishing ME individually, by making me leave the field, but also my team who are tarred with the same brush. I can't quite word it - work has my brain fried, but... lets say in this instance red card = 10 week ban. So red card for me, and I'm banned for 10 weeks, but my team suffered, so 2 week reduction.. so really red card now = 8 week ban, because a team will always suffer one way or another. The only way it could possibly have room to allow a reduction for 'team suffering#, is if we brought in a new law; whereby a captain can 'swap' the offending player, so the team is never down to 14... Therefore, red card for me, I'm banned for 10 weeks, but my team DIDN'T suffer, because they chose the 'swap' option, therefore no reduction... I dunno, get my drift? You can't give a referee the option to card players if you are going to take the fact a player got carded and put his team in difficulty into consideration for his ban?!?!? I am of course happy to take into consideration a player NOT getting carded when he should have been.

    Reply
  •  badge
    badge

    I was really hoping that you would use the word "apparently" just one more tim in that sentence.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    In terms of provocation, that's what the TMO actually looked for at the time, but couldn't see anything conclusive. I think the general principle, esp with red cards, is that the judicial guys look at it as part of your punishment when considering the ban. So if you did something red-card worthy, but got away with it at the time, you'll get an extra couple of weeks ban. I agree though, it is a little weird.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Guy, unlike your wife, we are pleased that you've pulled out before this reached a messy conclusion.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Absolutely, the punishment of a red card is surely because you are too much of a liability to remain on the field. I agree entirely.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Well Phill, join the missus in being disappointed with me. DanKnapp told me to not throw you any more bananas so I'll stick to that.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I would also like to know what Vermuelen did to provoke Triggs.. Also, how is 'leaving his team at a disadvantage' something to take into consideration?? ..so you were dumb enough to strike someone like that, you get carded for your actions and this your team suffers... BUT, you get rewarded for your team suffering by getting a ban reduction???

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm guessing SANZAR and world rugby have the same entry requirements - you have to be thick as ****... Wales comments on Norths' concussion and Franks story about "moving a bloke"..

    Reply
  •  diesel6
    diesel6

    Everyone here has posted great comments and one would conclude that there is a large amount of experience from around the globe. Rugby at the professional level will suffer the same gentrification that the American NFL has suffered. As the game becomes popular+ more $$/corporate sponsorship, there will be pressure put on the governing bodies to "tone down the violence"... I do not like it one bit because it dilutes the sport WE ALL LOVE and have dedicated a large portion of our life to. This is not a cultural or regional issue as I see it happening everywhere. As a forward who has sat for a calendar year for throwing punches to protect a mate that was being driven unsafely into the turf and by the time it was over I had a ref by the throat ( I havent thrown a punch since btw) I feel there are a very large number of ways that one can clean the slowing ball, playing offsides, playing the ball on the ground poppycock some players feel they need to slow the other team down. I suggest a well placed forehead with full upper scrape of course, the boots or be patient tough guy because we have 80 minutes and nobody can hide that long... A punch isnt half as bad as what will be available with some patience and you will not risk the visibility of an arm strike..and finedisregard I love everyone on your list.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I'm not even sure Mrs Franks would claim that.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    *presumed innocent unless proven guilty

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    10/10 for effort Eddie, but only the citing commissioner and Franks's mum could genuinely claim that the second one was not deliberate and malicious.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    You guys would have really hated Colin Meads, Martin Johnson, Frik du Preez, and Bill Beaumont. I consider them legends but they played in those horrible dark ages of rugby before cards and 8 week bans. What thugs!

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    It's incidents like these where I try to play devil's advocate, and argue the other side. So here goes. The first connection happens in the act of getting a guy out from the wrong side of the maul. There's a swinging arm that maybe hits him the chops, but for the most part, Franks seems to be involved in a legitimate clear out. The second connection... well they were out the maul, and I guess it wasn't a punch per se, just a random swinging arm right in the direction of the top of the neck, where in a really weird coincidence, it connects with a head. QED obviously accidental and not malicious. Convincing, don't you think?

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    *whispers* Do not feed the troll

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Thanks for the advice, Phill. I've read all your comments so the wisest thing for me will be not to follow any of your suggestions. Based on the content of your comments I guess you yourself have not played at a professional level either. Either this, or you've been punched in the head quite often yourself. Or you've played your last rugby in the seventies. Whatever. Punching, although sometimes understandable, has no place in rugby. At least not anymore. By the way: your insults lack any level of intelligence and/or humor. I think the audience on youtube will be more aprreciative, maybe you should go there,

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    As per rules? Ahem, I guess you mean 'laws'... 'As per rules' someone that punches should be sent of,period. You, my friend, have a quite subjective interpretation of the 'rules'. And don't pull the 'tiddlywinks' comment out of context. Originally it had absolutely nothing to do with punching people in the face but with hard fair play in general. I suggest you get your facts straight before you throw in any further nonsense.

    Reply
  • Yes the good old days of unreported concussions, broke jaws, orbital bones, pointless violence and power to the bully who "sorts people out". Go back to the 80s man. If rugby has become too soft for u and doesn't have enough violence may I suggest the wwe? The bad guys and cheats alway get sorted there!

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    PhilNZ is right. You guys that have never had to sort out a cheater must have had tmo's, cameras, and professional touch judges mic'ed up to the ref your whole careers. If a guy is continually cheating by illegally slowing down the ball, holding jerseys, or being offsides then yes, he deserves something like a punch. He is the one being negative and not allowing everyone else to play rugby. Holding jerseys is worse an offense than punching a guy that is cheating. To disagree with Max above, up until recently refs absolutely allowed a self-policing thing to go on.

    Reply
  •  max
    max

    completely agree with you! all for the physicality but punches are not a part of it. retaliation has never been sanctioned, it's taught from a young age in rugby and its a good rule (short of a player being punched the crap out of then he's probably within his right to do something). yeah i wouldnt worry about the thread so much. most of it is coming from PhilNZ who clearly has one too many screws loose rolling around in his head.

    Reply
  •  boybath
    boybath

    Exactly thats why driving or dropping someone on their head is a straight red. A NZ player did that got a yellow - came on again and did the same thing within a few minutes - left the bloke as a quadriplegic for life. After the NZRFU got sued for millions it became a straight red.

    Reply
  •  boybath
    boybath

    Its quite simple to stop people punching the crap out of each other. Remember Ronan O'Gara a threat on the lions tour so they punched his face to a bloody mess. That is not rugby thats bare knuckle fighting. With no penalties as you suggest teams could just play a MMA fighter hospitalize half the team and we are bound to win.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Baby steps, Dan. At least they got cited this time. And banned. This counts as progress in the Sanzar context.

    Reply
  •  foxtrot
    foxtrot

    Well at least the French now know how us South Africans felt when we were getting unfairly treated.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Does Franks have Stelzners' family tied up in a garage somewhere? How can he possibly rule that there Franks was "careless" and that there was "no malice intended"?

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I'm going to set the tone by saying that if any of these players had been French, they would have got a longer ban. This is fast becoming a joke.

    Reply

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Three Kiwis banned for punching or striking in Round 2 of Super Rugby | RugbyDump