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