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The ACT Brumbies will fight Henry Speight's dangerous tackle and lifting charges in a bid to have the Wallabies winger available for their Super Rugby semi-final against the Wellington Hurricanes in New Zealand on Saturday.
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Brumbies advance to semis
A first half hat-trick to Brumbie's winger Joe Tomane ensured his team will take on the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby semis.
Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones said Speight wanted to clear his name as he felt he didn't lift Cape Town Stormers captain Juan De Jongh in the incident that saw him red-carded with six minutes to go in their qualifying final on Sunday morning (AEST).
Speight had the opportunity to plead guilty and accept whatever sanction SANZAR duty judicial officer Nigel Hampton decided on.
But that didn't sit well with the quietly-spoken Fijian flyer and he'll try to clear his name at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
Contesting the charges generally means you receive a higher suspension if found guilty than if you simply plead guilty in the first place.
The incident was the only sour note in the Brumbies' courageous 39-19 victory over the Stormers in Cape Town.
Speight grabbed De Jongh and pulled him sideways, but it led to the Stormers captain tumbling awkwardly and landing on his head.
While there was no lifting motion, it will be hard for Speight and the Brumbies to argue it wasn't a dangerous tackle because of the way De Jongh fell.
With the game trying to stamp out such instances, Speight's best hope might be to receive a one-week ban and be free to play in the final if the Brumbies beat the Hurricanes.
"We're going to go through the hearing process, that will happen at 4pm on Tuesday by video conference," Jones said on Sunday night.
"[Speight] wants to put his case there and best-case scenario he gets off."
Fellow Brumbies winger Joe Tomane said the team was planning as if Speight would play this weekend.
He hoped Speight got off because of all the hard work he had put in to help get the Brumbies to the play-offs.
Tomane said the Brumbies had plenty of cover if Speight was suspended, with Robbie Coleman, James Dargaville and Nigel Ah Wong all able to play wing.
"In my mind I think he'll be playing next week. He'll be a huge loss if he wasn't to play, but we are all preparing as if we're going to front up with the same 23 next week," Tomane said.
"I hope he does play because he deserves to be playing in the finals."
Tomane had a brilliant first half against the Stormers, scoring a hat-trick inside the opening 25 minutes to get the visitors off to a flyer.
He deflected any praise and said he simply benefited by the work of his teammates.
The 25-year-old said there was no plan for the Brumbies to look to utilise their backs more than normal, they simply "played what was in front of them".
They have copped some flak in recent weeks that they are one-trick Brumbies and too reliant on the rolling maul.
Tomane said their six-try performance against the Stormers showed they had a multi-faceted attack.
"Obviously set piece is a huge part of our game, but we also pride ourselves on multi-phased attack and a lot of our tries came off multi-phase play, just good, hard, strong carries, good connection to the breakdown and getting quick ball," he said.
"We try to be good in all areas of the game and try and improve on what a lot of teams may see as a weakness.
"I think that really showed, our set piece was really strong. The proof of that is we had a seven-man scrum late in the second half and we turned the ball over."
The Brumbies are organising supporter packages including flights, tickets and accommodation for the semi in Wellington.
SUPER RUGBY SEMI-FINAL
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Wellington Hurricanes at Wellington, 5.35pm.
TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 2.
Should Brumbies winger Henry Speight be suspended for his spear tackle against the Stormers?
Poll closed 23 Jun, 2015
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