Video evidence could support Wood's cause
GLOUCESTER will hope video evidence can prove Nick Wood's stamp on Jacques Burger's head was unintentional.
Kingsholm prop Wood faces a minimum nine-week ban for his red card in Sunday's 44-12 Saracens defeat at Allianz Park.
The 30-year-old was ordered from the field in the second minute, immediately mortified with his actions.
Wood apologised to Saracens flanker Burger before leaving the pitch, for what he felt was a complete accident.
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The England Saxons prop will face an RFU disciplinary panel at Bristol Filton Holiday Inn tomorrow, comprising chair Christopher Quinlan QC, Mike Curling and John Doubleday.
Now the Echo understands the Cherry and Whites will aim to show the disciplinary panel that Wood's actions were a mistake.
From side-on, Wood seemed to make contact with Burger's head twice.
But from a camera angle behind the play, it is clear that Wood first brushes Burger's back with his boot.
Burger wriggles in response, and Wood then brings his boot down onto the Saracens back-rower's head.
Crucially, Wood's second movement is in the same place as the first – but Burger has shifted position, hence the head contact.
Neither Gloucester nor Wood will argue the red card nor the impending ban.
But both will hope this piece of film can show there was no malice or intent in the action.
The Cherry and Whites will hope this mitigation can help keep Wood's ban at the lower end of the range of punishment, that will start at nine weeks.
Wood's previous good character – only nine yellow and no red cards in 232 club appearances – his remorse and immediate apology should also stand in his favour.