Sunwolves lock Timothy Bond has been suspended for a month after the SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Michael Heron QC accepted his guilty plea for contravening Law 10.4 (e) – Dangerous tackling of an opponent – after he was red carded in the match between the Stormers and the Sunwolves at Newlands on Friday.
Bond attempted to tackle Stormers full-back Cheslin Kolbe, but made contact late and high. Referee Nic Berry issued Bond with a red card for the offence.
Bond has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks – until May 7.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Michael Heron QC assessed the case.
In his finding, Heron ruled the following:
"I conducted the DJO process with Timothy Bond, Shogo Tanaka san, Mark Hammett (each of the Sunwolves) and Mr Bond's legal representative, Mary-Jane Crabtree of Allens in Melbourne.
"The player confirmed that he was trying to tackle the player in a "smother" tackle and tried to pull-out when he knew that the Stormers player had passed the ball.
"I indicated that in my view the tackle was high, late and with only one arm potentially engaged. The shoulder of Mr Bond connected with the player's head.
"I accepted that it was not an intentional or pre-meditated action, but in my view given the combination of features, I considered it was reckless.
"The player was in a vulnerable position and left the field as a result. I indicated that I saw this as mid-range, and warranting an entry point of 6 weeks under Appendix 1. I did not consider there were other aggravating features present. He checked on the Stormers player and apologised to him.
"Mr Bond has a relatively good disciplinary record, although has a recent citing for which he received a one-week suspension. He is aware of the dangers of concussion and was clear as to his lack of intention to put a player in jeopardy of that.
"I did not see his record as an aggravating factor and his overall conduct and history was of some mitigation.
"In the circumstances, particularly in light of the early guilty plea, I was willing to discount the relevant sanction to a period of four weeks' suspension, through and including the playing weekend of 7-8 May.
"I was advised that one of those weeks was a bye week but that Mr Bond would have been available to play and could have been expected to play for the Japan XV against South Korea in Yokohama on that weekend. Other Sunwolves players will be playing. On that basis I accepted that week as a week which counted.
"On that basis, Mr Bond is suspended from all forms of rugby through to and including May 7."
Bond will eligible for selection on May 14 when the Sunwolves host the Stormers in Singapore.