Hore must be handed lengthy suspension

PLEASE EXPLAIN: All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore chats with head coach Steve Hansen and assistant Ian Foster after the test against Wales.
PLEASE EXPLAIN: All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore chats with head coach Steve Hansen and assistant Ian Foster after the test against Wales.

Andrew Hore's motive is irrelevant.

Whatever he was trying to achieve - let's give him the benefit of the doubt till his case is heard - the hooker must be handed a lengthy suspension.

Forget all the north v south nonsense that infiltrated Adam Thomson's drawn-out saga and consider first the injury caused to Welsh lock Bradley Davies.

This 25-year-old was knocked unconscious by a thundering blow which he never saw coming. After a week of preparation, a stirring anthem, and a rousing haka, he lay prone on the turf. Who knows what longer term damage has been done.

The high-end punishment for Hore's strike is eight-plus weeks.

Perhaps he did not mean to make contact with Davies' head, that he meant to simply swipe him out of the way on his mission to clean out the next ruck.

It'd be nice to believe that because Hore is a likeable bloke, an accessible All Black with a good sense of humour and a common touch.

But this looked ugly. Rugby league banned the shoulder charge this week and rugby must send a message that acts of violence are not part of the code.

Things were not helped by the fact Hore stayed on the field as the replays were shown to the 72,000 in attendance.

The three men who mattered most somehow missed it completely and were powerless to act after the fact. It was a case that screamed for a third official to act retrospectively.

Whatever the case, it is hard to see Hore getting much sympathy at the IRB judiciary.

While Scottish blindside Alasdair Strokosh's testimony was key to Thomson's light sentence, Davies is unlikely to leap out of his hospital bed and defend his attacker.

And if anyone is wondering how the people of Wales are viewing the incident, just imagine the reaction in New Zealand if captain Richie McCaw was knocked unconscious in the same fashion.

The Dominion Post