Wallabies player Scott Higginbotham has copped a two-week suspension for striking All Blacks captain Richie McCaw during Saturday's Bledisloe match.
The 26-year-old tonight pleaded guilty to two strikes against the Kiwi skipper during the 18-18 match at Suncorp Stadium.
Video footage showed Higginbotham headbutting McCaw, as well as striking him with his knee in the 26th minute of the game.
Here comes the unbelievable part though, as the judicial officer makes excuses for the Wallaby thug:
Sanzar duty judicial officer Jannie Lubbe said the incidents had been low entry level and that the knee was "more of a bump than a hit,'' while the "headbutt was reckless and not executed with much force.''
Significantly, Janne Lubbe was the judicial officer who cleared Quade Cooper of a similar kneeing offence on McCaw in the Brisbane test last year. In Meneer Lubbe's world, the use of the knee is clearly acceptable. And whilst he is right about the headbutt not being executed with much force (given that it went in an upwards direction), Lubbe has completely ignored the fact that Higginbotham was holding McCaw's head so that he could not escape the blow. It was clearly premeditated and delivered as they say in the classics with malice aforethought.
Following on from the limp suspension delivered to Dean Greyling for an unprovoked forearm to McCaw's head in Dunedin, this is an appalling decision. We stand by our opening statement; SANZAR's lily-livered judiciary is a disgrace.