Jonathan Davies of Wales spills the ball under the
challenge of Andrew Hore. Photo by Getty
A remorseful Andrew Hore says he let the nation down with
his swinging arm challenge that knocked out Welsh lock Bradley
Davies and that he deserves the five-week suspension with which
he's been administered.
Hore pleaded guilty to the charge of striking Davies in the
first minute of the All Blacks' 33-10 victory in Cardiff last
Sunday and was handed an eight-week suspension that was
reduced to five on the grounds he has shown genuine remorse
by apologising to Davies and his previously clean record.
Hore will miss Sunday's test against England and the
Highlanders captain will be able to serve most of the
remainder of the ban in the Super Rugby pre-season.
"I want to say how bad I feel and how embarrassed I am to be
in this situation," said Hore. "It is not the All Black way
and I have let myself down and the team and probably the
whole country is pretty proud of what we do.
"I hope Bradley Davies does recover and get back up and
running and play in the Heineken Cup as soon as he can.
"I have been on the phone and talked to him on Sunday about
the incident and obviously the All Black management and the
leader group that I am a part of has been pretty stern on me
for getting us into this situation and I have to take what I
have got and go back and start building a reputation as a
good, clean, hard footy player and hopefully I can do that in
the next Super Rugby competition when I get back playing."
The mood in the All Black camp in the aftermath of Hore's
suspension was one of resigned acceptance and relief. The
coaches and senior players have known since they first saw
the video footage that Hore was going to be in trouble for
Despite the hysteria of some commentators who have even gone
as far to call for Hore to be banned for life, the All Blacks
have been willing to accept the 34-year-old was attempting to
hook Davies out of the way rather than deliberately strike
him from behind.
The judicial officer noted that Hore made contact with an
open hand and that his intention was to reach around Davies'
shoulders and try to move him out of the way.
The challenge ended up being horribly executed when Hore's
arm came over the top of Davies' shoulders and cracked the
lock on the jaw - knocking him unconscious.
It was ultimately both a bad decision and a bad execution
rather than a malicious and deliberate assault.
"We haven't said anything on this issue before because there
has been a hearing," said All Black assistant coach Ian
Foster who attended the hearing in Bristol with Hore.
"It is nice to hear Andrew express remorse for Bradley. It
was good to put some context around the situation. Andrew has
been suspended at the high level but he's accepted
responsibility, he (has) more than 300 first-class games,
he's been a leader and his character over that time period
has been exemplary.
"This one incident he has accepted, he has fronted up for it
and he has been punished."