Sekope Kepu has accepted that he should be further sanctioned by the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee following a hearing under SANZAAR Judicial Rule 6.1.
Kepu was issued a Warning by the Citing Commissioner during a Super Rugby Match at the weekend. That Warning was the Player’s third offence after receiving Yellow Cards in Round 1 and Round 2.
The SANZAAR Judicial Rules in Section 8 of the Tournament Manual state:
A Player who has received three yellow cards or three Warnings (or any combination thereof) arising from matches in the same Super Rugby Competition shall be required to appear before the Foul Play Review Committee appointed for the Match during which he last offended.
At the same time as notification of the details of his hearing pursuant to Rule 4.1, the Player shall be sent copies of the Match Officials’ Reports in relation to each incident and be advised that the purpose of the hearing before the Foul Play Review Committee is to consider the circumstances in which each yellow card and/or Warning was imposed and determine whether any further penalty should be imposed on him by reason of his persistent foul play, or the matter referred to a full hearing, pursuant to Rule 7.
Kepu has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week, up to and including Friday, April 21. The Waratahs have a bye in Round 8, therefore Kepu will serve his suspension for his next scheduled match in Round 9.
Kepu was awarded a Yellow Card in Round 1, a Yellow Card in Round 2 and a Warning in Round 7.
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stephen Hardy and John Langford assessed the case.
In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC ruled the following: “The Foul Play Review Committee conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence on all 3 incidents, including video and additional evidence, as well as evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Anthony Black SC.”
“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed that a one week sanction was appropriate due to a number of factors including the fact the Player had committed three qualifying offences in a relatively short period of time, the fact the Player was put on notice after receiving his second Yellow Card and the similarity of the offences committed by the Player in the first two Yellow Cards and the foul play aspect of the third.
“There were mitigating factors that were also considered which included the Player’s excellent Judicial record spanning a long career and his early acceptance of the suspension.
“The player is therefore suspended for one week, up to and including the Waratahs next scheduled match on Friday, April 21.”