Higlanders' Baker gets 6 week-ban
April 8, 2014
The Highlanders held off a fast-finishing Melbourne Rebels in a high-scoring match in Dunedin
Super Rugby has demonstrated its tough stance on dangerous lifting tackles with Highlanders winger Kurt Baker suspended for six weeks. Duty judicial officer Nicholas Davidson imposed the ban on Monday after Baker pleaded guilty, having been cited over a tackle on Melbourne Rebels half-back Nic Stirzaker during his team's win in Dunedin last Friday.
Davidson said he considered the potential for harm was significant as footage showed Stirzaker was lifted high off the ground and tipped quickly so that his neck made contact with the ground even though he attempted to break his fall with his arm.
"The player was placed in a very vulnerable position and was fortunate to not be injured," he said. Davidson explained the incident was found to have an entry point in the mid-range, which starts at an eight weeks suspension.
"I then added two weeks as a deterrent for this type of tackle as it has been widely acknowledged that this type of action can not be tolerated in the game due to the risk to players," he said.
The ban was then reduced to six weeks due to Baker accepting the sanction and his excellent disciplinary record.