SANZAAR hand down a Quirky punishment for ‘love tap’ on Hamish Stewart

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru


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    Sunwolves flanker Ed Quirk has been issued with a two-week ban for the “love tap” that saw him controversially red-carded in Friday night’s Super Rugby clash against the Queensland Reds.

    And Reds back-rower Caleb Timu has copped the same suspension for another incident in the match – but neither will actually miss a single minute of action for Super Rugby franchise or country.

    SANZAAR’s foul play committee handed down the sanctions after hearings on Sunday evening but the suspensions cover time periods, as opposed to matches like in most professional sports.

    With the Reds and the Sunwolves failing to qualify for the Super Rugby finals, the bans will only prohibit Timu and Quirk from playing club rugby.

    Quirk applied his closed fist to Reds five-eighth Hamish Stewart’s face while both players were at the bottom of the ruck, but did so with such minimal force that both coaches were left in dismay and fearing for the future of the sport.

    A former Queensland player, Quirk was deemed to have committed “physical abuse”, contravening law 9:12, which includes striking with the hand or arm and pleaded guilty.

    Reds coach Brad Thorn used the “love tap” description after the match and said such pedantic decisions “hurt the game” while Sunwolves counterpart and fellow ex-All Black, Tony Brown, called it “embarrassing”.

    Timu, meanwhile, also entered a guilty plea after he was yellow-carded for laying a shoulder into a prone Sunwolves five-eighth Hayden Parker – an incident which Brown said was far more deserving of a red.

    SANZAAR deemed both acts merited a four-week ban but reduced them by half because of their clean judicial records.

    However, a SANZAAR media releases on the matters on Monday listed different end dates for the suspensions despite them being the same length.

    Timu’s ban ends after July 28 while Quirk’s extends for an extra week to August 4.

    SANZAAR has been contacted to clarify the discrepancy.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 16th 2018 @ 1:09pm
      Paulo said | July 16th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      Is the ban weeks or games? As has been discussed on here previously, that the ban was described in weeks, but was actually served as games. SBWs Red Card for the Lions series as an example, he served games, leading to some games being contentious as to if he would have played or not save for the ban. His actual time served exceeded the sentence due to this. Realize it is different levels of competition but thought the same principle applied. Regardless, either games or weeks is a meaningless ban at this stage of the season.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2018 @ 3:53pm
        PeterK said | July 16th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

        the very last line provides when the ban ends, it is unknown how many club games they would miss.

        Timu’s ban ends after July 28 while Quirk’s extends for an extra week to August 4.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 16th 2018 @ 4:18pm
          Paulo said | July 16th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

          So is it games or weeks served?

          In another thread we both agreed it was games, not weeks. But this article seems to disagree with that.

          And if it is weeks, why is the end date for both not the same?

          • Roar Guru

            July 16th 2018 @ 5:54pm
            PeterK said | July 16th 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

            that would indicate games, Timu misses club games in brisbane, don’t know what quirk misses in Japan.

            I think the article highlights how suspensions are not an an answer as a deterrent when things happen end of season, nothing games are served as suspensions.

            • Columnist

              July 16th 2018 @ 6:02pm
              Geoff Parkes said | July 16th 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

              It’s too messy isn’t it?
              I don’t know why they can’t apply any suspension to matches at the same level or higher?

              The idea that players serve suspensions out in club matches they were never likely to play in anyway is illogical and opens things up for manipulation – as we’ve seen in the past with SBW and Hooper.

              • Roar Guru

                July 16th 2018 @ 6:16pm
                PeterK said | July 16th 2018 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                you can blame european clubs for that not happening.

                I would imagine if you are suspended the same level or higher whilst you are suspended you also couldn’t play lower levels.

                So if you were suspended in 6N’s you then could play any games until you served your next intl games the following year.

                Unless you advocate that whilst suspended you can play lower level games, which means if you were suspended in june tests you could play super rugby but then you get suspended once the RC rolls around.

              • Columnist

                July 16th 2018 @ 6:24pm
                Geoff Parkes said | July 16th 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                I was advocating the latter, but yes i can see that that has it’s issues as well.

                If someone in that position never gets selected for a Test match again they would effectively serve no sentence.

                But then by missing club games they were never playing in, that’s also no effective sentence.

                Perhaps this is leading us down the ‘hip pocket’ path. Which i’m not sure i like either, but something like that tends to capture the players’ imagination.

              • July 16th 2018 @ 9:07pm
                ClarkeG said | July 16th 2018 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

                Well Geoff it gets messy as well when all matches are not treated as equal in terms of suspension.

                Fa’auli for example, having received a suspension for foul play, could potentially go back to Taranaki and play club rugby and play for Taranaki if the suspension only applied to super rugby.

              • July 17th 2018 @ 1:06am
                cuw said | July 17th 2018 @ 1:06am | ! Report

                @ Geoff Parkes

                at elite level football , this is easily done.

                they have a very efficient system that defines what games are used for suspension .

                i remember the time when Louis Suarez was suspended from all international football – club and country.

                but was allowed to play in an exhibition match in the Middle East. 🙂

                that was more of a publicity stunt than anything else.

              • Roar Guru

                July 17th 2018 @ 10:58am
                PeterK said | July 17th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                Geoff – I would consider a points system.

                Tests incur the highest points , professional provincial the second say 1/2 of tests, professional club games , 1/4 of tests, semi professional like NRC 1/8th of tests and so on.

                The level of game you get suspended for is the base multiplier of points incurred. Then the game suspension for the offence is multiplied by that, so say you get 4 games suspension that is multiplied by the level. You need to serve out all the points before you can play again.

                So even getting a game suspension at the lowest level rules you out of a test if that is played next since you have 1/16th or 1/32 of 1 test in points awaiting suspension.

                You get a suspension at test level you need to serve twice as many super rugby games in between tests.

                This would make suspensions more meaningful at all levels at all times of the year.

                Harder to manipulate since a trial game would earn the lowest points off possible.

      • July 16th 2018 @ 8:10pm
        ClarkeG said | July 16th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

        Its not meaningless at all.

        Each player has been suspended for 2 weeks = 2 games. (i.e. all forms of the game).

        The time that SBW served did not exceed the sanction handed down at all. He was suspended for a certain number of weeks (i.e games). After the last game he was then able to play again.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 17th 2018 @ 1:23am
          Paulo said | July 17th 2018 @ 1:23am | ! Report

          I think you misunderstood a couple of my points. I didn’t mean SBW was penalized more than he was ‘sentenced’ too, rather his sentence was commonly refereed to in weeks, when in fact it should have refereed to as games. Discussing it in terms of weeks was misleading.

          Bans are meaningless if you can eat them up in club games which you were never going to play anyway. You say you were going to play once you are sentenced, then that eats the ban up, you actually don’t miss any important games. There is no real tangible negative impact for the player. This time of the season in particular is good example of that.

          Geoff mentions above that a monetary penalty may be on option. I’m leading towards that too. It is tough, but maybe that will have more impact on the players.

          • July 19th 2018 @ 10:42am
            ClarkeG said | July 19th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Any game is an important game if it was intended that you were to play in it. Agree however that teams should not be able to suddenly decide that a player was going to play in a game simply for the purposes of crediting it towards the suspension.

            Having said that there must be many instances where Super Rugby players go back to club rugby for varying and genuine reasons. So in these cases it is an important game.

            I honestly can’t see the issue you have with weeks/games. They are the same. SBW’s suspension was referred to as weeks because that was the suspension handed down in terms of WR regulations for foul play i.e. sanctions are expressed in weeks. From memory he was suspended for 4 weeks and missed 4 games. Not sure why that is misleading.

            • Roar Guru

              July 19th 2018 @ 10:51am
              Train Without A Station said | July 19th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              Generally when it’s using a lower level game, they do have to demonstrate evidence to suggest the player would play. ie. played in a similar fixture the year prior.

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