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Williams Suspended For One Match

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 12 NZPA - Auckland had a win and a loss when two of their players appeared before the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) judiciary today.

Fullback Paul Williams was suspended for one week while outside back Winston Stanley escaped punishment for incidents during their team's 16-22 Air NZ Cup rugby loss to Canterbury last Saturday.

Williams will miss Auckland's next match against Northland at Kerikeri on Saturday.

He fronted to judicial officer Bruce Squire after being cited for charging an opponent without the ball, an incident which saw him penalised at the time when Daniel Carter was struck.

Williams said in evidence that he was attempting to avoid contact with another Auckland player, who was endeavouring to tackle Carter.

Squire upheld the citing, adding that the breach of the law was clear. He indicated he did not wholly accept Williams' explanation and he considered contact with Carter resulted from a last minute decision by Williams to pull out of a tackle to which he was committed.

Squire said the contact was made at an unacceptably high level, and that the degree of recklessness involved warranted a period of suspension.

Stanley appeared on a similar charge, for checking Canterbury's Ryan Crotty.

Crotty kicked the ball towards the Auckland goal line and Stanley ran across in front of him, contacting Crotty with his left shoulder.

Crotty was knocked to the ground but played on after receiving medical attention.

Squire found that although there was clearly a breach, the culpability in the offending was such that no penalty, beyond the finding of foul play, was warranted.


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