Rebels prop Weeks suspended for 3 weeks
CAPE TOWN — Rebels prop Laurie Weeks has been suspended for three weeks for punching Sharks counterpart Jannie du Plessis in a Super Rugby clash in Durban last Friday.
Sanzar duty judicial officer Adam Casselden has accepted a guilty plea from Weeks of the Rebels for contravening Law 10.4 (a) — punching or striking — after he was sent off in the 29th minute of his side’s 27-22 loss.
Weeks has been suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks up to and including June 20.
In his finding, Casselden ruled the following:
“As the duty judicial officer, I considered all of the evidence before me including video footage leading up to the incident and issuing of the red card, match official reports for the incident and the submissions of Tim North QC which he made on behalf of the player.
“I found the incident to have a mid-range entry point which stipulates a five-week suspension. This was then reduced by two weeks due to Weeks’s prompt admission of guilt, remorse for his actions and excellent disciplinary record.
“The applicable entry point for determining the seriousness of the offence was determined by the excessive overreaction of multiple strikes by the player when compared to the act that initially provoked him to commit the offence.
“Looking at the player’s schedule, the Rebels have two weeks of Super Rugby remaining before the end of the regular season and they are unable to make the finals series.
“I received formal notification from the Rebels and the player’s club team in Melbourne, Southern Districts, that he was scheduled to play the following week. After taking all these factors into consideration, I found that a suspension of three weeks was warranted for the offence which was accepted by the player. The player is suspended for three weeks up to and including June 20, 2015.”
All Sanzar disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a Duty Judicial Officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the DJO.