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Hore's punishment doesn't match the crime

Date

Stu Piddington

OPINION

Banned ... Andrew Hore of the All Blacks returns from his judicial hearing.

Banned ... Andrew Hore of the All Blacks returns from his judicial hearing. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Keith Hore will be happy he wasn't playing rugby in Keith Murdoch's day or he could be on a plane bound to nowhere, or at least farming in central Australia rather than Central Otago.

Hore's swinging arm from behind that floored Welsh lock Bradley Davies and sent him to hospital has been punished with an eight week suspension by the International Rugby Board.

It was then reduced to five because of Hore's exemplary record during a 74-test career, genuine remorse and daily contact with Davies.

That seems a fair punishment on the surface because Hore won't be able to play against England or the three test home series against France and the opening Bedisloe Cup test against Australia on August 24.

Well, actually that's not right.

The only test Hore will miss is this weekend's England game and then three pre-season Highlanders games and the Super Rugby competition opener.

Apparently the judicial officer received unreserved assurances from All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster that the pre-season matches had "significant and meaningful consequences" for the newly-appointed Highlanders captain.

Really? The Crusaders playing the Highlanders in my hometown of Timaru is that important? I'm impressed.

Last time I watched them in a similiar pre-season in Oamaru it was rolling subs and any All Black was hard to spot apart from being swamped by autograph hunters when they appeared from the sponsors marquee.

This is where the IRB is out of touch.

What also makes me smile is while the Scottish judicial officer Lorne Crerar found Hore's swinging arm had been "inherently dangerous" and was "delivered with significant force" to an unsighted player, he ruled Hore did not intend to make contact with Davies' head.

Davies stands 198 cm (6ft 6in) while Hore is 1.83m (6ft 0in), and it clocked him square on the jaw, perhaps Crerar could explain what he was aiming for.

That however is the side show.

My real gripe is the fact the senseless act took place on the international Test stage and that is where the punishment should take place.

Football does it that way perhaps rugby should wake up and follow suit.

Imagine Dan Carter or Richie McCaw laying prone at the Millennium Stadium and we were told the culprits punishment would include three Heineken Cup warm-ups that player was not likely to front in anyway.

As for Hore, he's belatedly apologised and seems to mean it and I rate him a tough but fair bloke.

Foster also moved to defend the silence surrounding the issue from the All Blacks' camp this week, saying it was important to follow protocol.

That may not have been the case had the victim been in his changing room.

Anyway, my argument is with the IRB process and the way the punishment is allowed to be served.

Perhaps Hore should have said he was in line for an Otago side at the Queenstown Sevens as well and then he would have be free to start the Super Rugby competition opener, or is that just silly?

Fairfax NZ News

48 comments so far

  • The time of bans is an issue. Some players such as Rob Simons get 8 weeks (subsequently reduced to 5) and mis little or no rugby. He does not play rugby in January. It should be a ban in terms of games. Example 8 matches- test and Super rugby included. Make the bans for specific games not time. The IRB have not kept up with this reality. Also some of the citings are a joke. Digby Ioanes tavckle this year was a good shot. Toughen up and wake up IRB!

    Commenter
    walshj76@hotmail.com
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    November 30, 2012, 11:06AM
    • Totally agree, Hores ban wasn't long enough. However neither was Higgies for an equally gutless and cowardly knee, then headbutt to McCaw. These decisions on dirty play have for a long time been inconsistant and a joke. Maybe some of the lead up to the incidents should also be taken into account - running deliberate interfence, jersey grabbing etc. If you look for trouble don't cry about it when you find trouble. Lets not look to closely at NZ for caes where players have been cited and recieved light sentences as there are plenty of citings or lack of in Australia to be fair. Remember McCaw being deliberately targeted by Wallabies players in recent years with little or no penalty and one RWC Wallaby George Smith took AB halfback Justin Marshall out of play late off the ball. That act ended Marshall's World Cup. Winning teams always get the bounce of the ball. it's just the Wallabies aren't winning the games against the big teams to often.

      Commenter
      sod
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 11:40AM
      • You have to be kidding right. No one can be that purposefully one eyed surely. So I suppose the chap within the AB's that yanked several of Smithies dreadlocks out by the roots was being friendly.
        If you look closely McCaw is hanging onto to Higgers boots as he is moving and stumbles forward. If there were any intent in the knee I am sure Richie would no doubt have had a cut on his forehead. The headbutt well my Gran could headbutt better. Forget about hollywood movies a headbutt to the forhead around the eye usually means the kin folds open like a zipper. Unless Richie is different to most any intent would have left him with a decent gash. Well at least thats my experience from the paddock having played for more years than I care to remember. If you wish to look at cheating what about holding onto players to create the gaps, Richie is marvelous at that and I suspect a number of players are getting tired of his behaviour the Boks included.
        Injuries occur in the field I am sure the injuries that Larkham or Latham received were no less so.
        Its amazing how Kiwis bleat so when for years the AB's have been wonderful manipulators of the rules.
        Back to the point I agree with Stu, Hore was let off lightly and there does need to be consistency. Richie can lie all day over a ball and get repeatedlyy pinged but is hardly if ever sent top bin. Someone else transgresses and they go the distance. If as Stu suggests it had been say Higgers who hit Carter late and injured and Australia subsequently won the game in Dan's absence I am sure the scribes would be calling for a season.

        Commenter
        Lindsay
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 1:11PM
      • Lindsay I thought Cantabs were one eyed - Higgie insitgated the lot. Stop trying to justify your guys dirty play. The AB's , as you pointed out are the best at winning, dirt the lot yes. But don't cloud the truth. As for Higgie's head but, once again the difference in the two teams. AB's do it right. If you are going to do it , do it right. Higgie's headbutt was pathetic and that sums up the Wallabies to date in the north. It's all about the intent, just because his delivery was inept just accept that he to is a dirty player. Wallabie rugby this week has been desexed - female rugby writers, crying about dirty players - kiwi's, the coach, injuries etc. Wallabies not England in disguise but Scotland - good at beating minnows -Italy - Just.

        Commenter
        sod
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 3:49PM
      • "No one can be that purposefully one eyed surely" Well your comment just goes to prove someone can be that one eyed.

        Higginbotham kneed McCaw then headbutted him. Your sad attempt to justify it is simple hypocrisy. Which you top moments later by whining about players being held back. Need I remind you the match winning Wallabies try in the 1st test was scored through TPN grabbing the ankle of an Argentine defender to open the gap

        Commenter
        Camomatic
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 5:40PM
      • Lindsay - you, and many others, are making a big mistake when you/they classify alleged offences as to the INTENT of the offender. Referees are not psychologists and are not trained, nor should they be, as to whether or not the perpetrator INTENDED his dangerous offence. Just imagine if an offender visited a victim in hospital and explained that what he had done was not intended!! You can't be serious!!! If what he did is dangerous and is judged as foul or dangerous play then he must face the consequences. Methinks you have been listening to the idiots broadcasting NRL on Channel 9 too much!! Believe me, the judgement of the referee is based as to whether or not the 'incident' was AVOIDABLE or not!! Please believe me - I blew the whistle for many years at all levels. I was coached by the great JOHN PRING!!

        Commenter
        Grae Gafia
        Location
        Queensland
        Date and time
        December 01, 2012, 12:03PM
      • Can someone tell me where were all these journalists and bloggers baying for Hores blood when Andy Powell launched a swinging arm at the head of an All Black in 2010 and wasn't even cited or when Victor Matfield swung a heavily bandaged arm which still had a metal rod in it at the head of Byron Kelliher which knocked him out cold, and was also deemed not to have a case to answer.
        Really this week has been an absolute masterclass in hypocrisy from everyone from UK journalists to one eyed has been subbies.
        At least the 5 weeks Hore got for the first citable offence of a ten year career has set the benchmark for the serial grubs like Higginbotham and whatever he tries in the first 10 minutes of the Lions series next year.

        Commenter
        stojo01
        Location
        Zeadney
        Date and time
        December 02, 2012, 12:14AM
      • @Lindsay.Sport, give your head a good shake. The other eye just might "pop" open, and really,mate we don't want to hear about how violent your grandmother is.

        Commenter
        Muzzo
        Location
        Orange
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 1:21PM
    • Stu, although I agree with your sentiments entirely, I completely disagree with the analogy re Carter and McCaw. In the case of the latter, he was clotheslined by the that Welsh guy a couple of years ago (no punishment), elbowed by Hartley (no punishment), elbowed by Greyling (2 weeks), speartackled by Tuqiri (don't remember the punishment), kneed and headbutted by Higginbotham (2 weeks) and assalted by that famous boxing legent, Cooper or something (no punishment).

      I am sure a lot of other people can come with examples re their own country's players, the judiciary is a joke. I know is not tiddly winks but by the same token is not a free for all personal assault on another human being.

      And for the record I think Hore got away with murder. clean previous record or not..

      Commenter
      two-eyed-cyclops
      Location
      Gold Coast
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 11:43AM
      • You forgot Mccaw kicking Cooper in the knee after being legally cleaned out of a ruck in Hong Kong (oh yeah, that's what started the McCaw-Cooper thing, a cheap shot from your lord and savior Richie).

        Commenter
        AD
        Location
        NQ
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 4:38PM

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