Flip let off the hook
Johannesburg - Xerox Lions flank Trevor Hall was found not guilty and Vodacom Blue Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe received a severe warning after both players attended SARU judicial hearings held in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Hall was cited under law 10.4 (m) for acts contrary to good sportsmanship. The Xerox Lions flanker was on top of the Vodacom Blue Bulls No 4 Van der Merwe during the 81st minute of the match and with his open hands made contact in his face, near the eye area.
SARU judicial officer Jannie Lubbe considered evidence from the Xerox Lions flanker, video recordings and heard submissions from Hall's representative. He noted that the incident occurred in close proximity to the match officials and agreed with their decision of not taking further action. As a result, the citing was not upheld.
Van der Merwe was cited under law 10.4 (a) for punching or striking an opponent. The Vodacom Blue Bulls lock aimed a punched at the Xerox Lions hooker Martin Bezuidenhout during the third minute of the game. The Vodacom Blue Bulls defeated the Xerox Lions 32-18.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls lock pleaded guilty to the charge.
Lubbe considered evidence from the player, video recordings and heard submissions from Van der Merwe's representatives. Bezuidenhout testified and confirmed that Van der Merwe's punch did not hit him in the face. As a result, Lubbe issued the Vodacom Blue Bulls lock with a severe warning.
SWD Eagles centre Sinethemba Zweni however was found guilty after he was cited for contravening law 10.4 (j) for lifting an unidentified Griffons player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground.
The incident occurred in the 19th minute of the game. The SWD Eagles defeated the Griffons 18-14 in this Absa Currie Cup First Division match.
Lubbe deemed the tackle as a lower entry tip tackle and suspended the SWD Eagles centre for two weeks. Zweni's clean record after more than 50 Absa Currie Cup games was also considered before Lubbe announced his ruling.