Blues lose Luke Braid

Blues flank Luke Braid has pleaded guilty to hitting a Stormers opponent and has been suspended for three weeks.

Sanzar’s judicial officer Mike Heron said the citing commissioner had pinned Braid for striking an opponent twice – to the back of the neck and head.

Heron’s report read: ‘The footage showed Braid struck the Stormers player twice, the first with his forearm to the back of the neck, the second with a part-open hand to the head. The Stormers player was lying on the ground and not able to avoid the blows. I find the striking [on both occasions] to be deliberate and dangerous.

‘I accept, however, the submission for Braid that the force was not severe and the impact in the circumstances was not significant. The player accepted the conduct was intentional, but explained it resulted from his frustration with the Stormers player and his belief that the player was infringing at a critical time [and place] in the match. Braid accepted, however, that the conduct was inappropriate and he was remorseful. His explanation [of frustration and trying to get the opposition player to stop impeding the ball] does have some support from the footage.’

Braid will, however, only miss two matches as the Blues have a bye during the course of his suspension.