Vodacom Super Rugby
One-week ban for Hougaard
Francois Hougaard (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Bulls scrumhalf Francois Hougaard
received a one-week ban after he was sent off for a tip-tackle in his side's Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs on Saturday.
SANZAR duty judicial officer Mike Heron accepted a guilty plea from Hougaard.
Hougaard contravened the law against lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground while that player's feet are still off the ground.
The fleetfooted Hougaard received a red card in the match after he lifted Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn into the air and dropped him on to the ground in the 62nd of the match.
The Bulls still managed to beat the Cheetahs 51-19 despite Hougaard's red card and flanker Jacques Potgieter received a yellow card for a shoulder charge.
"Mr Hougaard immediately accepted the tackle was in breach of rule 10.4(j) as per the sending off of the referee," said Heron.
"After consideration of all the relevant material, including the footage, Mr Hougaard's good record and the rather unusual nature of the incident, I indicated a penalty of one-week suspension."
Heron said the circumstances of the tackle were unusual and there was no injury of lasting impact on Ebersohn which also strenghtened Hougaard's case. "In addition, Hougaard has the embarrassment of being sent from the field and the record that comes with that," Heron said.
"In all the circumstances therefore I reduced the penalty to one week's suspension.
"I emphasise that this was an unusual case and that it should not be regarded as setting any precedent in respect of future tackles of this sort."