One-week ban for Van der Merwe
Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe has been suspended for one week and will miss Saturday's Test against the All Blacks in Johannesburg.
A SANZAR judicial hearing found Van der Merwe guilty of contravening Law 10.4(e) Dangerous Tackling, which also constituted a breach of Law 10.4 (a) Striking after he was cited during a match at the weekend in The Rugby Championship. The incident occurred in the 39th minute of the match between South Africa and Australia at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. The SANZAR judicial hearing was held via video conference on Monday.
After hearing from Van der Merwe, his counsel and Ian Schwartz, the Springbok manager, Nicholas Davidson ruled the following: "The player was initially sin-binned for a dangerous tackle but the citing alleged a deliberate striking.
The judicial officer concluded that this was a breach of Law 10.4 (e) as a dangerous tackle executed high and leading with the forearm and without any attempt to grasp the player in the initial contact. It was also a strike under Law 10.4 (a) but not intentional as cited."
Mike Mika, a former professional player, assisted the judicial officer.
"Van der Merwe has a good disciplinary record at international and Super Rugby level and has never before been suspended," Davidson added.
"Although breach was denied, the judicial officer concluded that his record and conduct including a concerned approach to the Australian player (Joe Tomane) warranted a discount to a one-week suspension only."
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