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September 19, 2012

Judicial wrap - The Rugby Championship Round Four

Judicial wrap - The Rugby Championship Round Four

By SANZAR Communications

Sanzarrugby.com reviews the judicial affairs of the fourth week of The Rugby Championship 2012, with one player being cited from the weekend.

Citings

All Blacks v Springboks
Dean Greyling (Springboks)

In the 63rd minute of the match Referee George Clancy issued a yellow card to Springboks player Dean Greyling for contact with his forearm/elbow to the facial area of All Blacks No.7 Richie McCaw.

Following review of the match footage the Citing commissioner determined in his opinion the incident did meet the Red Card threshold and therefore cited Greyling under Law 10.4 (a) Striking another player with the elbow.

Greyling appeared in front of the SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Paul Tully who in his assessment of the incident found Greyling guilty and issued him with a two-week sanction.

His reasons for the finding were:

The citing alleged Dean Greyling, with the use of his forearm, struck the face of the New Zealand player Richie McCaw. The footage showed a ruck, McCaw being on the New Zealand side on the ground with his upper body exposed. It then shows the player coming over the top of the ruck from a standing position using the forearm in a charging motion.

I find the contact was reckless in that it was an effort to clean out the player, rather than an intentional strike to the head. I find the initial contact was with the chest. This was where most of the force was directed. I cannot exclude contact with the head. It did not appear to be savage or with significant force. McCaw was able to make complaint to the Referee and Assistant Match Referee. He was uninjured.

I formed the view the entry point for the offence should be at the lower end for the following reasons:

· The player ought to have known that the reckless use of the forearm in circumstances above held a significant risk of committing an act of foul play.

· The victim was not injured.

· The player was sent from the field for ten minutes of the game when the game was in a precarious position. There were no substitutions left.
South Africa played with fourteen men. The coach submitted the send off adversely affected the final score to the detriment of South Africa.

· It was not an attempt on the part of the player to strike McCaw's head.

I identified the following aggravating features:

· The player had two prior yellow cards this season, one for a professional foul and the other for a high tackle. These yellow cards were in Super
Rugby.

· This use of the forearm in this fashion has potential for injury.

I considered the following mitigating factors:

· The player is 26 years of age. He has played 50 Currie Cup matches and 50 Super Rugby matches.

· This was his first appearance before a Judiciary.

· The player's conduct at the hearing was appropriate. He was remorseful.

· He apologised to the Referee when he returned to the field of play.

· He attended the New Zealand dressing shed after the game to apologise.

· The player pleaded guilty to the breach of the Law at the earliest possible
time at this DJO level.

Conclusion

· The entry point for a breach of the Law for this offence at the Lower End is two weeks. I increase that penalty by one week for the above aggravating circumstances.

· I decrease the sanction by one week for the above mitigating factors and thus impose a sanction of two weeks.

· I have no reason not to accept the submission of the South African Coach that the player would not have been rested in the upcoming bye week of the Rugby Championship and would have been required to play in the Currie Cup Competition as will all of those players not on the run on side.

· He is therefore prevented from playing any form of rugby up to and including 30 September 2012.