Eight-week ban for Oz lock

2012-11-14 19:23

London - Australia lock Rob Simmons is set to miss the rest of the Wallabies' tour of Europe after being handed an eight-week ban Wednesday for a tip-tackle during last weekend's 33-6 defeat by France in Paris.

Now Simmons, who has the right of appeal, is in line to be ruled out of this Saturday's Cook Cup against England at Twickenham, next week's Test with Italy in Florence and the December 1 international against Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Simmons's ban adds to Australia's problems in the second row with fellow lock Kane Douglas already sidelined from the England match due to a knee injury he suffered against France.

On as a replacement, Simmons was cited by South Africa's Freek Burger for his challenge on Yannick Nyanga midway through the second half of Australia's tour-opening Test loss at the Stade de France last Saturday.

During the course of the match, Welsh referee Nigel Owens was heard apologising to the France team for the officials' failure to issue a red card for the challenge on Nyanga due to their collective inability to identify tackler Simmons.

International Rugby Board (IRB) judicial officer Robert Williams of Wales, who heard Simmons's case at a hearing in London on Wednesday, said in a statement, that he determined the Australia forward's tackle to be at the "high end" of the scale of IRB sanctions.

In upholding the citing, Williams added two weeks "aggravation" from the high end entry point of 12 weeks' punishment for such offences but then allowed the maximum six weeks mitigation based on Simmons's "exemplary previous disciplinary record and his conduct at the hearing".

Hence a sanction of eight weeks was duly imposed, with Simmons free to resume playing on February 25.

The statement issued on behalf of Williams added: "The specific period of suspension recognises the close season inactivity after the current tour when the player is not scheduled to play."

Australia coach Robbie Deans was due to name his side to play England on Thursday.


  • godfrey.welman - 2012-11-14 19:52

    What a welcome change in dealing with NZ and Oz players, trust the S15 judicial officers take note.

      johnson.burger.7 - 2012-11-14 20:19

      Yes a welcome change from the usual South Africans playing like morons.

      sheamus.drager - 2012-11-14 20:54

      Not so much Godfrey, check NZ Thomson's 1 week ban

  • Caleb - 2012-11-14 21:54

    Sheamus, are you comparing Thompsons indiscretion with this tip tackle? I bet you didnt even watch the game, if you did. A one week ban is probably appropriate.

  • bruce.marcovich - 2012-11-14 22:00

    Hmmm, 8 weeks for an Aussie spear tackle and a 1 week for a Kiwi head racking/stomping depending on who you support (Kiwi's say he was just dusting the grass of his head!!!!), but it does not seen to be a little inconsistant !

      Caleb - 2012-11-15 01:54

      Have you seen it? Can you honestly call that a stomping?!

      Owentjie - 2012-11-15 02:22

      Caleb, It didn't even look accidental, he saw, and then he decided to put foot to head. The fact that he lifted his foot to a players head with intention is what should be looked at. Bakkies head butt on jimmy Cowan had probably less force than this this contact. It's intention to strike a player. Argue as you want bro, he should get more than 1 week. And it should have been red. Was the ball even close to the okes head?

      Caleb - 2012-11-15 04:47

      @ Owentjie - Ok hang on, im not saying it was accidental. Thompson should have gone no doubt, but to call it stomping is an over-reaction, the irb judiciary said that its at the start of the banning spectrum and i agree. Compare that with other stomping cases, and tell me if they have the same malicious intent

      Owentjie - 2012-11-15 20:14

      I think they should clarify all cases. No grey line. Ie. foot to head, accident or not , passed record or not. ,x weeks. Same criteria for tip tackle, no matter what the outcome. Y weeks. Same for punches or foul play. If you r found guilty then the ban is passed down. Once u get 3 foul incidents , you get xy weeks. This way there is no grey line. I also think the Aussie guy got hit hard because he wasn't sent off in the match.

  • alan.forbes.3344 - 2012-11-14 22:05

    And the head stamping kiwi gets 1 week as I predicted. Looks like Aussie are falling out of the golden circle which is now firmly controlled by the cheating kiwis.

  • boereroo.jackman - 2012-11-15 00:38

    Union is becoming so soft. There was nothing wrong with that tackle. The froggy landed on his back and not on his head or neck. If it was NRL everyone would've given Simmons high 5's for a strong tackle. Of course spear tackles are dangerous and should be banned, but referees and citing commissioners seems to go way overboard. Any tackle where a player is taken backwards or of their feet and they go red card crazy. If they don't the commissioners also just want to say something. If this game is to hard for you may I suggest lawn bowls.

      graham.v.ferreira - 2012-11-15 09:10

      One of the main rasons why rugby is getting soft is the rugby mums and granies in Oz who won't even let their little boys learn how to scrum properly. No scrumming until they are what? 16? That's why the Aussie front rows have the power of a powderpuff. For years the Oz union have been trying to make rugby like rugby league and because they have their poor cousin NZ suporting them who tacitly gains SA's support through the SANZA mone grabbing moguls, thenorthern hemisphere has gone along with the push toward league. But the tide has turned and rfs have been given the go ahead to blow Oz out the ame at scrumtime until they learn to scrum properly.

  • Owentjie - 2012-11-15 02:34

    Just watched the clip. 8 weeks for that is childish, it wasn't malicious , he tackled poorly, and what is considered incorrect nowadays. I cannot believe where poor technique gets 8 week ban over intent of boot to head gets one. It's crazy

      boereroo.jackman - 2012-11-15 04:50

      Totally agree.

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