20 Apr 2009

Cowan escapes further censure after sending off

6:48 pm on 20 April 2009

The Highlanders and All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan's escaped further censure after appearing before a SANZAR judicial hearing in the wake of being sent off in his side's loss to the Blues at the weekend.

Cowan faced an automatic judicial hearing being red-carded for a late and dangerous tackle on Jimmy Gopperth.

But having viewed the video footage judicial officer Bruce Squire said the tackle wasn't late despite the referee's view.

He says the video showed the tackle was made within less than a second after Gopperth had kicked the ball and the points of contact was at Gopperth's chest level.

He says the problem was Cowan's failure to use his arms in the tackle and in that case the tackle was no more serious than tackles of a similar kind which are routinely met with penalty kicks or, in extreme cases, a yellow card.

Squire therefore ruled that the red card was a sufficient penalty in itself.