Moala slapped with one-week ban
Sat, 06 Apr 2013 06:56
There was no intentional foul play
Blues wing George Moala of the Blues has been sapped with a one-week ban for foul play.
SANZAR judicial officer Nicholas Davidson accepted a guilty plea from Moala for contravening Law 10.4 (e), after he was cited for an incident in his team's 29-18 Super Rugby win over the Highlanders at the weekend.
Moala has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including April 13 - which means he will miss the Blues games against the Hurricanes in Auckland next week.
The incident occurred in the 45th minute of the match between the Blues and Highlanders at Eden Park on Friday, April 5.
In his finding Davidson ruled the following: "George Moala has been suspended for one week after a citing for and his admitting a breach of Law 10 4 (e), by making a dangerous high tackle on Highlanders No.14 Buxton Popoali'i.
"He accepted the indicative sanction given by the judicial officer [Davidson].
"Moala had been yellow carded for the incident and did not return to the field as his coach John Kirwan considered he was very shaken.
"The judicial officer considered there was no intentional foul play and that all indications were of an orthodox tackle until Popoali'i reached forward and dropped his body position that lead to contact above the shoulders and with considerable force.
"Concussion was reported by the medical officer and the effects are not yet certain.
"Considerable remorse and reflection were shown by Moala directly to Popoali'i after the match and at the teleconference. He is young and just making his way in the first class game and has a clean record.
"The judicial officer records that the tackler has the responsibility to make the tackle cleanly and cannot assume the ball carrier, here catcher, will take or carry the ball as coached.
"The judicial officer also expressed real concern at the incidents involving the head and neck region this season and while different in kind the message must now be patently clear that the dangers in high contact must now reflect in deterrent sanctions."
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