New Zealand Rugby
Hore hit with five-week suspension
ESPN Staff
November 28, 2012
New Zealand's Andrew Hore works on his line-out skills, All Blacks training session, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand, August 11, 2011
All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore has expressed his regret over the incident that has led to a five-match ban © Getty Images

New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore has been banned for five weeks after he struck Bradley Davies in the opening minutes of Saturday's match between Wales and the All Blacks.

Hore went unpunished during the match but was later cited. The incident provoked outcry from Wales with interim coach Rob Howley saying at the time: "What Hore did has got no place on a rugby field, as far as I am concerned. It was an absolute disgrace." Davies was hospitalised following the incident and following Wednesday's hearing in Bristol, Hore will be free to play again on February 24, 2013.

The news means that Hore will miss New Zealand's match with England on Saturday at Twickenham along with his club side the Highlanders' pre-season games and the first match of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

The disciplinary panel deemed that the "act of foul play was inherently dangerous, being a deliberate swinging of the arm, delivered with significant force, causing serious injury to the victim player, Bradley Davies, who was unsighted". Professor Lorne Crerar, who was judicial officer for the hearing, recommended an entry point of eight weeks for Hore's suspension but added that he "found that the player had not intended to make contact with the victim player's head".

However, the judicial officer "acknowledged the mitigating factors of acceptance of guilt by the player, his genuine remorse, as evidenced by his daily contact with the injured player, his exemplary disciplinary record, and his conduct throughout the hearing and imposed a suspension of five weeks."

Hore has expressed his regret over the incident, commenting: "I want to say how bad I feel and how embarrassed I am to be in this situation. It is not the All Black way and I have let myself down and the team.

"I hope Bradley recovers and gets backup and running as soon as he can. I have been on the phone and talked to him on Sunday about the incident. 'I have to go back and start building a reputation as a good, clean, hard footy player."

Davies has questioned the severityof the ban compared to the seven-week ban he was handed for a tip tackle during this year's Six Nations. "It is a bit lenient when you think I got a 14-week entry point reduced to seven for my tackle," he said. "I couldn't tell you how it happened until I saw it on TV, but my jaw is still hurting. It's rugby, it's done now and I don't bear any grudges. I know exactly what he feels like. He will feel terrible. You just can't explain why you did what you did."

In related news, Australia's Sitaleki Timani has been hit with a one-week ban. He was cited for striking an opponent during their Test with Italy on Saturday and will miss this weekend's match with Wales. Both Timani and Hore have the right of appeal.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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