Te Puke Sports hooker Simon Chisholm will be having another lengthy period on the sideline after the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Judicial Committee slammed him with a five week suspension following his sending off against Tauranga Sports in the match played at the Tauranga Domain on April 27.
The committee decided after considering the referee's report, assistant referee's report, submissions from Chisholm and his supporters, plus video footage, to categorise the offence of striking another player with a hand, arm or fist (law 10.4a) at the mid range of the scale of seriousness, as prescribed in the schedule contained in Section 9 of the NZRU disciplinary rules.
After considering aggravating and mitigating factors, (not released), the Judicial Committee suspended former Steamers hooker Chisholm for five weeks, meaning he will next be able to play on Sunday, June 2.
Chisholm has the right to appeal.
Te Puke Sports coach Craig Jeffries told the Bay of Plenty Times it seemed an excessive penalty.
"It was a nothing incident and it has been blown out of all proportion," he said.
"It is an over-reaction and seems harsh. They have given lesser penalties out for offences when people have been hit."