Crosswell can get on with training after citings withdrawn

The Bay of Plenty rugby team's double citing of Manawatu lock Nick Crosswell proved to be much ado about nothing.

The citings were withdrawn by the Bay of Plenty Steamers yesterday, without explanation.

Crosswell had been cited by Bay of Plenty manager Wayne Brill after the match against the Turbos on Wednesday night.

It is understood one was for an alleged elbow thrown to the head of Steamers first five-eighth Dan Hollinshead in the 36th minute and the other for an alleged punch to the head of flanker Johan Bardoul in the 56th minute.

The word "alleged" was used wisely, as a review of the match videotape by the Manawatu Standard yesterday showed.

In the first incident in a ruck, only Crosswell's arm was seen to cross the head of Hollinshead, who jumped up unhurt. That citing was quickly dismissed by citing commissioner Martin Harris.

The second incident was even less clear on the videotape. Bardoul did suffer a cut to the face during the game, but if it was the result of a punch it must have been faster than anything delivered by Muhammad Ali.

That was sent on to Wellington for judicial officer Roger Drummond to deliberate on, until it was withdrawn and there was no need for a hasty hearing.

Unless there was another camera angle, the match footage was inconclusive, but did show Bardoul clinging on to Crosswell's boot.

Without the frivolous distractions, Turbos manager Verne Wilson said Crosswell and the coaches could go ahead with preparing to play Counties-Manukau at FMG Stadium on Sunday.

"It was something which could have been left on the field," Wilson said. "Nick's happy he doesn't have to worry about it and he can get on with training."

Protocol might not have been followed to the letter, anyway. While citings must be laid within four hours, it took longer than the recommended 20 minutes after the match to get to the Sky TV truck to find and view the TV footage.

Meanwhile, the five-week suspension of prop Ben Tameifuna for pushing referee Glen Jackson in Albany last week means he will be out when Manawatu play Waikato in Hamilton on September 27.

Manawatu Standard