Aaron Smith (Gallo Images)
Wellington - Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith has been found not guilty of foul play after facing a SANZAR Judicial Hearing on Monday.
Smith had been cited for a dangerous tackle on his Blues opposite number Toby Morland during a Super Rugby fixture in Dunedin last Friday. He received a yellow-card for the incident in the 76th minute of the match.
Whilst he did not disagree with the referee’s reasons for giving a yellow card, SANZAR Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC, found that the citing could not be made because Smith was not the player primarily responsible for lifting and then dropping or driving Morland to the ground.
Based on the evidence presented, including additional video evidence that was made available, Hampton concluded that another Highlanders player involved in the tackle had played the dominant role in lifting and dropping Morland.
Smith was therefore found not guilty and is cleared to play.