Cape Town - SARU has suspended Griquas lock Rory Arnold from all rugby for seven matches after being found guilty of biting Free State Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke in their Currie Cup match in Bloemfontein over the weekend.
Arnold appeared before a SARU disciplinary hearing in
Cape Town on Tuesday and was found guilty on Wednesday
of contravening Law 10.4(m) following a biting incident in the team’s Currie Cup clash against the Free State Cheetahs last Saturday and has
received a seven-match ban.
The player has been suspended from all forms of rugby up to
and including 19 October 2013.
Arnold received a red card for the offence in the 62nd
minute of the match, after the Cheetahs’ hooker, Reynecke, complained
to the match referee, who referred the matter to the TMO before sending off
Arnold pleaded not guilty to the charge and in his defence
said that the downward pressure on his head, while trying to cross the tryline
with his mouth open, had caused the marks on the arm of the Cheetahs player.
In his findings judicial officer Peter Ingwersen found the
victim’s initial reaction was instructive due to his spontaneous response to
withdraw his arm, complain to the assistant referee and then report the matter
to the referee.
According to Ingwersen, Arnold was found guilty
and sanctioned "on the balance of probabilities and relying particularly on the
victim’s immediate and spontaneous reactions and the doctor’s evidence."
Arnold has since appealed the decision, which if unsuccessful, will mean that coach Pote Human will only be allowed to have Arnold eligible for selection in time for the Currie Cup final, should Griquas qualify for the showpiece.