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Blues George Moala suspended for one week

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SANZAR     07 Apr 2013     Getty Images

Moala has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 13 April 2013.

The incident occurred in the 45th Minute of the match between the Blues and Highlanders at Eden Park in Auckland on 5th April 2013.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.

In his finding, Mr Davidson ruled the following:

George Moala has been suspended for 1 week after a citing for and his admitting a breach of Law 10 4 (e) by making a dangerous high tackle on Highlanders No 14 Buxton Popoali’i.

He accepted the indicative sanction given by the Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC. Moala had been yellow carded for the incident and did not return to the field as his coach John Kirwan considered he was very shaken. The DJO considered there was no intentional foul play and that all indications were of an orthodox tackle until Popoali’i reached forward and dropped his body position that lead to contact above the shoulders and with considerable force.

Concussion was reported by the medical officer and the effects are not yet certain. Considerable remorse and reflection were shown by Moala directly to Popoali’i after the match and at the teleconference. He is young and just making his way in the first class game and has a clean record. The DJO records that the tackler has the responsibility to make the tackle cleanly and cannot assume the ball carrier, here catcher, will take or carry the ball as coached.

The DJO also expressed real concern at the incidents involving the head and neck region this season and while different in kind the message must now be patently clear that the dangers in high contact must now reflect in deterrent sanctions.