Sunwolves flanker Ed Quirk has been handed a two-week suspension following his red-card offense over the weekend.
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee has accepted a guilty plea from Quirk for contravening Law 9.12: Striking with the hand or arm, after he was Red Carded during a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.
Quirk has been suspended from all forms of the game, up to and including 4 August 2018.
The incident occurred in the 36th minute of the match between the Reds and Sunwolves played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last Friday night. Quirk appeared to use a closed fist to make contact with the face Reds first-five Hamish Stewart at the bottom of a ruck. After reviewing the play, referee Ben O’Keeffe said he was left with “no option” and sent Quirk from the field permanently.
Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn and Sunwolves interim head coach Tony Brown both condemned the ruling. Thorn said “it just hurts the game,” while Brown said “‘I’ve got no other option’, what a load of crap. That’s just embarrassing.”
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stefan Terblanche and John Langford assessed the case.
In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC ruled the following:
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, as well as a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Maryjane Crabtree, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12”
“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 4 weeks given the strike to the head of the opposition player. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s good Judicial record, the fact the opposing Player was uninjured and the Player’s guilty plea at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 2 weeks.”
“The player is therefore suspended for 2 weeks, up to and including 4 August 2018.”
Reds Number Eight Caleb Timu has also been assessed a two-week suspension after he was cited for an incident that occurred in the same game.
Timu launched his shoulder into Sunwolves first-five Hayden Parker while he was on the ground. Timu received a yellow card for his actions, though commentators argued the incident was worse than Quirk’s offense.
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