24 Jun 2015

Speight to miss semi-final

7:13 pm on 24 June 2015

The Brumbies winger Henry Speight has been suspended from playing rugby for five weeks and will miss the Super Rugby semi-final against the Hurricanes.

The Brumbies and Wallabies winger Henry Speight in Super Rugby action.

The Brumbies and Wallabies winger Henry Speight in Super Rugby action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The punishment was meted out by the SANZAR judicial officer Robert Stelzner after Speight received a red card during for a lifting tackle on Juan de Jongh.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the match between the Stormers and the Brumbies in Cape Town on Sunday.

Stelzner ruled the referee's decision to issue a red card was correct and the incident breached rule 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle which stipulates a four-week suspension.

"The dominant movement of his right arm, the positioning of his leg under De Jongh and that of his left hand behind De Jongh's neck together with Speight's driving movement on to De Jongh, caused the player to make contact with the ground, head first, in a cartwheel movement," said Stelzner.

"The tackle caused De Jongh's feet to lift and his head to make contact with the ground first. It was not a legitimate clean out at a ruck and the player was fortunate not to have been injured. The offending was however not premeditated and occurred in reaction to De Jongh having impeded Speight's progress. The momentum of the players may have contributed to the result.

"An aggravating factor is the ongoing need for a deterrent for dangerous play such as this which carries with it the real risk of serious injury. As a result, two weeks were added to the sanction.

"Mitigating factors included Speight's unblemished disciplinary record over a lengthy first class career for the Brumbies in Super Rugby and Waikato in New Zealand's provincial competition. Brumbies coach, Stephen Larkham, spoke to the outstanding character of Speight and his position within the team as a leader and his work in the community. This, amongst other factors, resulted in a reduction in sanction of two weeks.

"The player is suspended up to and including Saturday, 25 July 2015."