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Crusader gets a one-week ban

Sun, 17 Mar 2013 07:20
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Crusaders front row forward Ben Funnell has been suspended for one week for an act of foul play.

Crusaders front row forward Ben Funnell has been suspended for one week for an act of foul play.

SANZAR duty judicial officer Nicholas Davidson accepted a guilty plea from Funnell for contravening Law 10.4 (e): Dangerous Tackling.

The replacement hooker was cited following the Crusaders' 41-19 demolition of the Bulls in a Super Rugby match in Christchurch at the weekend.

Funnell has been suspended from all forms of the game until March 23.

That means he will miss the Crusaders' encounter with the tournament rookies, the Kings, on Saturday.

The incident occurred in the 60th minute of the match between the Crusaders and Bulls.

SANZAR duty judicial officer Nicholas Davidson assessed the case.

In his finding Davidson ruled the following: "The DJO considered the video footage and the citing report before hearing from the player and his counsel with coach and manager.

"A dangerous tackle was admitted.

"The incident was not treated as deliberate foul play, but resulted from a poorly executed hold to the neck of the Bulls player [Grant Hattingh], which was held as the players went to ground and thus dangerous.

"The Bulls player suffered concussion and whiplash.

"He should be ready to play next week, but that requires further assessment.

"The incident was closely considered for mid range entry level, given the clear directives against tackles or holding around the neck or head.

"The absence of deliberate application of force to the neck was a factor against that.

"The prompt admission of breach and the young player’s good record allowed for mitigation and the indication given the player was a one week suspension which he then accepted.

"He was thus suspended for one week up to and including March 23."

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