Three-week ban for Pocock

Date published: April 5 2016

Brumbies flanker David Pocock has been banned for three weeks for an act of foul play in his team’s 48-23 defeat to the Chiefs in Canberra on Saturday.

The SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Cassleden accepted a guilty plea from Pocock of the Brumbies for contravening Law 10.4(e) Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play, after he was Cited during a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.

Pocock grasped the neck of Chiefs number eight Michael Leitch during a maul in the 74th minute of the match.

Pocock has been given a three week suspension for the incident and is suspended up to and including Sunday 24th April. Due to the fact the Brumbies have a scheduled bye in Rd 7, Pocock will miss Rd 8 and Rd 9 of Super Rugby, in effect making it a two match sanction.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Cassleden assessed the case.  In his finding, Cassleden ruled the following:

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative I accepted the player’s admission that he had committed an act of foul play contrary to law 10.4(e).

In its Memorandum on “Dangerous tackles (high tackles), dangerous grasping of neck and/or head area of player not in possession of the ball and dangerous grasping/holding of ball carrier above the line of the shoulder” dated 22 May 2015, World Rugby stated “this type of dangerous play which is foul play must be dealt with severely by match officials and all those involved in the disciplinary process.”

With respect to sanction I deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 2 weeks.  I then added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play.  However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s early plea, his good character, his genuine remorse and his excellent disciplinary record I reduced the suspension to a period of two weeks.”

“The player accepted my indication of sanction of 2 weeks, and is therefore suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Sunday, 24 April 2016.  The player is free to resume playing on 25 April 2016.”