WELLINGTON, February 16 – Wellington Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo was suspended for a week for carelessly trampling on a player during a Super 14 rugby clash against the NSW Waratahs, officials said Monday.The All Black forward was cited for allegedly stamping or trampling on Waratahs captain Phil Waugh during Saturday’s home match, won by the Waratahs 26-22.
Waugh left the field in the 65th minute of the match, with blood streaming from a head wound.
At a hearing Monday of southern hemisphere grouping SANZAR, judicial officer Bruce Squire said video footage suggested the boot of another player, not So’oialo, could have been responsible for Waugh’s head injury.
"Although So’oialo conceded his boot had made contact with Waugh’s head, the point of contact appeared, from the videotape, to be different from that where the injury had been sustained," Squire said.
He said while the contact So’oialo made with Waugh was clearly not intentional it demonstrated an unacceptable degree of carelessness and risk of injury.
So’oialo’s suspension means he will be unavailable for the Hurricanes’ next match against the Otago Highlanders in Wellington on Friday.