Force's Battye off the hook

2012-04-02 15:06

Cape Town - A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Force lock Phoenix Battye not guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player’s head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player’s feet are off the ground), after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
No sanction has been imposed on Battye.
The incident occurred in the 75th minute of the match between the Force and Reds at NIB Stadium in Perth on Saturday. The Force won 45-19.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing held via videoconference on Monday was heard by Paul Tully.
In considering the matter, new evidence was presented by the Force that was not available to the citing commissioner. This evidence showed that despite Battye lifting Reds scrumhalf Will Genia, he neither dropped nor drove Genia’s head or upper body into the ground.

The evidence demonstrated in fact he was protecting the player by bracing himself with his arms and knees so as to prevent the potential for injury to the player. In the end the tackle could not be seen as dangerous as required by the law for the citing to be upheld.