Gill, Broadhurst get slaps on wrist

Reds flank Liam Gill and Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst have received light suspensions for acts of foul play.

Gill will miss just one match after his tip tackle on Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White in Brisbane.

Sanzar judicial officer Robert Stelzner handed down a two-week ban for the offence, but the Reds have a bye this coming week and Gill will miss only one match – the home encounter with the Lions on 27 March.

'After taking all relevant facts into consideration, I found the incident to have a lower-end entry point for breaching of 10.4 (j): Lifting Tackle, which stipulates a four-week suspension,' Stelzner said. 'The incident was indeed a lifting tackle, but given its unusual features, referred to hereafter more fully, it did not warrant an increase from the entry level sanction to serve as a deterrent, which would have been the case had it been the more usual type of “tip tackling” performed on a player running with the ball.

'The lifting tackle in this case occurred in a ruck when the player pulled his opponent, who was lying over the ball, out of the ruck, lifted and turned him through the horizontal over his hip causing his opponent to cart wheel before hitting the ground. The player conceded that the lifting and turning his smaller opponent in this manner placed the opponent at risk of serious injury. The player stated he acted out of frustration and “instinctively” in his attempts to contest for the ball.

'The tackle was reckless, carried with it a real risk of serious injury, but at the same time was not the normal type of lifting tackling referred to above in which the players' momentum adds to the danger.

'In this case his opponent did not land on his head as a result of the player twisting and throwing the player over his hip, causing his opponent to fall on his side. There was no driving of the player into the ground nor total disregard for his opponent's safety. The tackled player was able to continue playing after the incident.

'The player received a yellow card and his side conceded a try in the same phase as the incident and another while he was off the field. His actions and subsequent sanction significantly disadvantaged his team at an important time in the match. 

'Mitigating factors taken into account for determining final sanction include the player admitted the offence. He has an exemplary disciplinary record having never been cited before and has represented Australia at both U20 and Test level. His contribution to the game in general has been outstanding and he clearly expressed remorse for committing the offence and for having tarnished his record with this incident.

'I considered a 50% reduction in suspension was appropriate after taking these mitigating factors into account. As a result, a two-week sanction was considered to be appropriate.'

Meanwhile, Broadhurst will only miss this Friday's clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin, after being suspended for a week for kneeing Blues loose forward Luke Braid in the face.

Stelzner said in his judgment that he was 'satisfied that the player did not deliberately strike his opponent, Luke Braid, with his knee to his opponent's head' but 'did make contact in a careless manner'.

Photo: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt