Duty Judicial Officer: Michael Heron QC
Player: Tim Bond
Date of Incident: 9 April 2016
Law: 10.4 (e) Dangerous tackling of an Opponent including early or late and including the action known as the “stiff arm tackle”. Dangerous tackling of an Opponent including a tackle or attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders
Elapsed time in match when offence occurred: 70th Minute
The SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Michael Heron QC has accepted a guilty plea from Tim Bond of the Sunwolves for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous tackling of an Opponent, after he was Red Carded during a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.
Bond attempted to tackle the Stormers #15, but made contact late and high. The referee, Nic Berry, issued a red card for the offence during the match between the Stormers and Sunwolves at DHL Newlands, Cape Town on Friday, 8 April 2016.
Bond has been suspended from all forms of the game until 7 May 2016.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Michael Heron QC assessed the case. In his finding, Heron ruled the following:
"I conducted the DJO process with Tim Bond, Shogo Tanaka san, Mark Hammett (each of the Sunwolves) and Mr Bond's legal representative, Mary-Jane Crabtree of Allens in Melbourne.
"The player confirmed that he was trying to tackle the player in a "smother" tackle and tried to pull-out when he knew that the Stormers player had passed the ball. The player accepted the conduct was foul play.
"I indicated that in my view the tackle was high, late and with only one arm potentially engaged. The shoulder of Mr Bond connected with the Stormer's player (the head). I accepted that it was not an intentional or pre-meditated action, but in my view given the combination of features, I considered it was reckless. The player was in a vulnerable position and left the field as a result. I indicated that I saw this as mid-range, and warranting an entry point of 6 weeks under Appendix 1. I did not consider there were other aggravating features present.
"He checked on the Stormer's player and apologised to him. Mr Bond has a relatively good disciplinary record, although has a recent citing for which he received a one-week suspension. He is aware of the dangers of concussion and was clear as to his lack of intention to put a player in jeopardy of that. I did not see his record as an aggravating factor and his overall conduct and history was of some mitigation.
"In the circumstances, particularly in light of the early guilty plea, I was willing to discount the relevant sanction to a period of four weeks' suspension, through and including the playing weekend of 7-8 May. I was advised that one of those weeks was a bye week but that Mr Bond would have been available to play and could have been expected to play for the Japan XV against South Korea in Yokohama on that weekend. Other Sunwolves players will be playing. On that basis I accepted that week as a week which counted.
"On that basis, Mr Bond is suspended from all forms of rugby through to and including 7 May 2016."