Rugby club’s big ban re­versed


An Auck­land rugby club has suc­cess­fully ap­pealed a ju­di­cial de­ci­sion ban­ning it from play­ing in Auck­land’s pre­mier rugby com­pe­ti­tion in 2017.

Te Pa­papa One­hunga Rugby Club’s ban came af­ter an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­cial com­mit­tee de­ter­mined it had fielded an in­el­i­gi­ble player last year, Daniel Hav­ili, who was banned from rugby for life af­ter punch­ing a ref­eree in 2011.

How­ever, the club was un­happy with the sever­ity of the pun­ish­ment and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the find­ings and lodged an im­me­di­ate ap­peal.

Its case went be­fore an in­de­pen­dent ap­peals com­mit­tee who de­ter­mined the penalty im­posed by the ju­di­cial com­mit­tee would be re­duced to a ban of 33 weeks, back-dated to 13 Au­gust 2016 - the date of the ini­tial ju­di­cial hear­ing.

It also im­posed an ad­di­tional sanction, with the club in­el­i­gi­ble to earn any com­pe­ti­tion points for the first round of the pre­mier com­pe­ti­tion.

For them, the sea­son starts on April 8 against Mt Welling­ton.

Te Pa­papa’s club chair­man Chris Skin­ner said they were happy with the res­o­lu­tion and could now look for­ward to re­turn­ing to Auck­land’s pre­mier grade.

‘‘The team’s said.

‘‘We’re just happy to be back in the game and look­ing for­ward to the sea­son.’’ rapt,’’ Skin­ner

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