Highlanders winger Tevita Nabura has received a severe penalty for a ‘misguided’ offence. Nabura has been suspended from all forms of the game for 6 weeks, up to and including Friday July 6.
The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the match between the Waratahs and Highlanders, played at Allianz Stadium in Sydney May 18 2018.
As a result of being cited immediately after the game; and even after a short postponement when Nabura returned to New Zealand, his actions on the field required an investigation by the judiciary review.
Tevita Nabura receives six week suspension for ‘misguided’ offence
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stefan Terblanche and John Langford assessed the case. Hampton was quoted in an SANZAAR media release as saying;
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles, and a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12 (physical abuse – kicking).
“The player’s action was seen by the Committee as a ‘misguided effort’ by an inexperienced player to both try and regain balance whilst in the air and ward off the approaching opposing player.
“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a top-end entry point of 12 weeks due to the contact with the opposition player’s head. As it is required to do, the Committee assessed that, given the comparative lack of force of the actual contact to the head and the lack of any injury to the other player, the entry point should remain at 12 weeks.”
However the committee took into account mitigating factors including the Player’s excellent record, his remorse, his inexperience and his guilty plea at the first available opportunity. Therefor the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the maximum suspension by 50%, to a sanction of six weeks.
Highlanders player’s further involvement in Super Rugby 2018 now limited
Nabura’s punishment also includes the three week Super Rugby break, when he would have only played club football if anything. This will then be followed by the remaining three weeks of Super Rugby fixtures.
The Highlanders play the Chiefs in Suva, then the Crusaders in Christchurch, with that match being the last day of his suspension.
This will only allow the Highlanders final match at home, to be the a game that Tevita Nabura could participate in. And if the standings do allow the Highlanders to be involved in the 2018 Super Rugby finals series – only then could Nabura have more than one chance to be selected.
But the key feature of the players suspension, is technique. Over the next six weeks, he must take time to exact his abilities in the air. A key part of a modern rugby wingers skill-set, one which Tevita Nabura must be sure he becomes more proficient in.