The Welsh rugby community has condemned the five-week ban
handed to All Black Andrew Hore after his forearm hit put Wales
lock Bradley Davies in hospital last weekend.
The hooker faced a disciplinary hearing in Bristol overnight
and had his eight-week ban reduced to five for showing
remorse by contacting Davies to apologise, pleading guilty
and his past record.
It means Highlander Hore will miss only two games of real
significance - Sunday's test against England and the opening
match of the Super Rugby season - because his franchise's
three pre-season games are included in the suspension.
Wales Online journalist Gareth Griffiths said the punishment
was as disgraceful as the incident and the International
Rugby Board needed to re-examine the case.
"This disparity can't be right, in my view, and sends out a
worrying message about the acceptable attitude rugby is
taking towards on-the-field violence," Griffiths said.
"Here is a man who I believe should not grace the New Zealand
jersey again. But he will be back on the field on February 24
with New Zealand players having December and January off.
"Another lenient disciplinary verdict for the All Blacks also
adds fuel to the fire of the argument that there is one rule
for New Zealand and another for the rest."
Davies revealed today that he suffered a three-day memory
loss after the incident and said that he could not remember
anything from the two days before the test, let alone the day
of the game itself.
"I was actually only out cold for a couple of seconds on
Saturday, but when I came to, I had lost all my short-term
memory," Davies told Wales Online.
Davies said he holds no grudges against Hore, and can relate
to making mistakes on the field after he received a
seven-week ban last season for a "stupid off-the-ball
"I am not sure how they branded [Hore's] ban because I had a
14-week suspension that was halved to seven which I thought
was harsh at the time."
The mood in the All Blacks camp in the aftermath of Hore's
suspension was one of resigned acceptance and relief.
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.
"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," said All Black assistant coach
"This one incident he has accepted, he has fronted up for it
and he has been punished."
Welsh rugby fans voiced their displeasure at the ruling in
the comments section of Griffiths' article, and were upset by
the length of the ban and the message it sent.
- Herald Online