All Black flanker Adam Thomson sits in the sin bin after
being given a yellow card during the test against Scotland
in Edinburgh. Thomson has been given a one-week ban for
stamping. Photo Getty
Euphoria turned to disbelief and anger may now be the
next emotion in the evolution of the prolonged case of Adam
Thomson and his charge of stomping on Scotsman Alasdair
The All Black flanker had been relieved, delighted even, to
learn that he was only being punished with a one-week ban.
But between receiving his punishment in London and flying
back to Rome, everything changed. He arrived at the All
Blacks' Italian hotel to learn that IRB chief executive Brett
Gosper had been on Twitter announcing that the case would be
reviewed, as the governing body has the right to do.
He'll have to wait to see whether the threat from Gosper was
real or a bullish response to some goading by prominent
English media who took to the social media airwaves to
express their outrage at the leniency of the ban.
The IRB have the right to review any hearing but it has
surprised and most probably angered the All Blacks that
within minutes of the finding being made public, the chief
executive of the governing body was already promising to
"It has been a long day and at the end of it we clearly
understand and accept the decision that has been passed out,"
said All Black assistant coach Ian Foster who had been
helping Thomson with his defence. "It was a robust and
Foster was clearly surprised to hear of the rumblings coming
out of Dublin about a possible review of the sanctions but
couldn't offer any thoughts without knowing the full facts.
Just as clear was the dejection in Thomson when he heard
about the possibility of the whole sorry business being
dragged back into the judicial process. A one-week ban meant
he could stay on tour and hope that he may still enjoy more
appearances in the All Black shirt. Now he can't be certain
that will be the case, and must now hope that his guilty
plea, obvious remorse, immediate apology to Strokosch and
previously clean record all hold up under more scrutiny.
"I never intended to make contact with the player and I had a
fair chance to make that case today," said Thomson. "I'm
happy I had that chance to state my case today and that I was
"I am disappointed to have been suspended. I pride myself in
the way I conduct myself on the field. I have had a long
career and a clean slate and then to get to this stage and
blow up ... it is disappointing."
- By Gregor Paul in Rome/ Herald on Sunday