Ardie Savea: All Blacks and Hurricanes star ‘accepts’ ban for throat-slitting gesture

Colin Newboult
Ardie Savea all blacks hurricanes super rugby pacific

Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland has stated that Ardie Savea knew he had done wrong immediately after making his throat-slitting gesture.

The number eight was sin-binned towards the end of the first half and then slid his thumb across his neck as he exited the field.

Savea was criticised for the threatening act and was subsequently banned by the Super Rugby authorities due to an accumulation of indiscretions, including that gesture.

Ardie apologises

“He accepted it pretty much straight away. When he was sitting in the sin bin for 10 minutes [he knew] it was something he shouldn’t have done,” Holland said.

“I’m aligned with him on that and to get the one-week sanction is the way it is and we accept it.

“As Ards said after the game he accepted he did something he shouldn’t have done so the one-week is the sanction, and Ardie was sorry, and we just have to get on with accepting that and get on with what comes next.”

Savea’s throat-slitting gesture was out of character for the back-rower, who is well-respected in the game, and Holland insisted that the 29-year-old should not be castigated for one misjudgement.

“Like all of us, you can be a pretty special leader and still make a mistake, and that’s what has happened with Ards with a little bit of adrenaline going,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t make a mistake and that is what has happened with someone who is a great leader and a great inspiration for our boys.”

The Hurricanes could use this chance to give Savea one of his mandatory rest weeks, but they want him to stay in camp and help the team prepare for their huge Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Blues.

“I don’t see this an opportunity to use up one; I see it as an opportunity to help the group get ready for the Blues,” Holland said.

“When you lose an All Black and someone who is a massive part of our team it’s always a blow.

“But that’s life, and we’ve got All Blacks rests and all sorts coming up, with the likes of Ardie missing games so we’re pretty prepared for it.”

Repeated warnings

On the scuffle that led to the yellow card, Holland believed that Savea was the unfortunate fall guy with the Hurricanes already on a team warning.

“We were on a warning for repeated team infringements, but when you go into a melee like that the referees are looking for the one person who does a little bit more than anyone else, and that’s something we will look at,’’ he added.

“I don’t think there was any one thing, it was just a combination of how everything unfolded there with people running in from both sides and a bit of adrenaline going, but as we’ve said, there’s no excuse for where we got to at the end of it.”

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