Proof has come to hand that Michael Hooper is not guilty of punching Argentinian fly half Nicolas Sanchez and as such should be cleared by SANZAR tomorrow.
Re-watching the zoomed in slow motion video above it becomes clear that:
1 – There is no swinging arm punch past or on the head. In fact, it appears to be a strong push to the top of the back
2 – Hooper’s hand is open before and after he makes contact – there is no fist
3 – After Sanchez hits the ground he doesn’t grab the top or side of his head where ‘punched’, but the front of his face to milk a penalty – suggesting there was in fact no punch at all
Our money is on that Hooper rightly is acquitted of striking in tomorrow’s hearing (especially if they show this footage – you can thank us later ARU). It leads us to ask what should be done about the actions of Nicolas “Dirty” Sanchez – if indeed he hasn’t testified on Hooper’s behalf in the meantime.
What do you think, is it a punch?