East Coast player Te Rangi Fraser has been given a two-week suspension for a spear tackle, following a judicial hearing before Nigel Hampton via video-conference on Wednesday.
Two other players - Timo Tutavaha (Taranaki) and Ngarimu Simpkins (East Coast) - who also faced judicial hearings received no further sanctions and are free to play this weekend.
Fraser was sent off during a Heartland Championship match against Wairarapa Bush last Saturday.
Nigel Hampton considered the tackle to be at the low end of offending and imposed a penalty of two weeks taking into account Fraser’s contrition, immediate concern for the Wairarapa Bush player, his age and clean disciplinary record.
The penalty means Fraser will miss the last round robin game and the semifinal should East Coast qualify.
East Coast’s Ngarimu Simpkins was sent off in the same game following two yellow cards.
Hampton found that no further sanction should be imposed. This was because the first card was for a technical infringement and, after reviewing footage of the incident which led to the second yellow card and the automatic sending off, found that any foul play by Simpkins in that incident did not warrant any further action.
Taranaki’s Timo Tutavaha was cited in the NPC game against Tasman on Sunday for allegedly striking a Tasman player with his elbow 20 minutes into the second half.
Hampton found that the citing was not made out given that other players were involved in the movement which led to the blow to the Tasman player and that at the relevant time the incident was out of the player’s control.