Scott Barrett has been handed a reprieve by the SANZAAR judicial committee after being given a ban of just three weeks for his red card offence during the All Blacks’ 47-26 loss to the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.
The 25-year-old lock was controversially sent from the field at Optus Stadium by referee Jerome Garces for a no-arm tackle on Australian captain Michael Hooper at the end of the first half.
Barrett’s dismissal had a significant consequence on the outcome of the fixture, as the hosts went on to score 34 points in his absence to dish the All Blacks a record-equalling defeat in Western Australia.
After pleading guilty to breaching Law 9.16, whereby a player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without attempting to grasp the player, at a judicial hearing on Sunday evening, the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee – consisting of Adam Casselden, Stefan Terblanche and Eroni Clarke – gave Barrett a three-week ban from all forms of rugby.
It means Barrett will be out of action until after September 1, meaning the only All Blacks fixture he will be unavailable for is this week’s Bledisloe Cup decider at Eden Park in Auckland this Saturday.
Consequently, the verdict means Barrett’s World Cup hopes are still alive, with the All Blacks’ first game of the tournament kicking off on September 20 against South Africa in Tokyo.
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Stephen Cottrell, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.16,” Casselden, the Foul Play Review Committee Chairman, said.
“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or neck must start at a mid-range level.
“However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s exemplary judicial record, his expressed remorse and the fact the player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks.”
“The Foul Play Review Committee adjourned the hearing to seek more evidence regarding the player’s proposed schedule of matches. Upon reconvening the Foul Play Review Committee was presented with extensive evidence demonstrating the player’s intended playing schedule.”
“The player is therefore suspended for three weeks, up to and including Sunday 1 September 2019.”
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