This excerpt was taken from the NZ Herald: "Luke Braid has been knocked out twice already this season."
"His first occurred in the loss to the Hurricanes in Palmerston North when he was kneed in the head by lock James Broadhurst in an act of foul play"
Sport24 reader, Michael Engelbrecht offers a response to this quote:
So, how did SANZAR re-act to this incident ? Well, James Broadhurst got a one week suspension.
Think about that .... Broadhurst intentionally knees another player in the head, concusses him, is cited, found guilty and receives a one week suspension.
A week later, Francois Steyn is the main tackler in a joint three way tip tackle and gets a red card during the game. He gets cited and is found not guilty at the judicial hearing. It appears that the SANZAR boss, Greg Peters does not like that result, so it is appealed and a new judicial team is appointed. Of course, they have understood the unspoken message loud and clear and as such, Steyn is found guilty and suspended for 5 weeks.
So, let's examine this. If you intentionally commit an act of foul play and injure another player, you receive a one week suspension. However, if you tackle a player (a legitimate part of the game) and in the heat-of-the-moment, make a mistake and it becomes a tip-tackle (remember that rugby is all about getting over the advantage line, dominating the other player, winning the ruck, etc, etc), you will receive a 5 week suspension.
This is so blatantly inconsistent and just adds fuels to the fire that is the gripe from South African fans that their players are more harshly dealt with in term of penalties and suspensions.
Now I am not for one minute advocating that a tip-tackle should not be severely sanctioned - it is dangerous and could easily result in serious injury to a player. But then, so is a knee to the head.