Cape Town - A South African Rugby Union (SARU) judicial officer has
rejected a complaint that the Valke fielded an ineligible player in their
Currie Cup First Division semi-final against the Leopards on 3 October.
Valke won the match 31-24.
The Leopards complained that Valke flyhalf Clinton Swart was
ineligible for the match as he had only been available to play for the team for
two matches before the semi-final.
They argued that the regulations required
for him to be available for five log matches to be eligible for the playoffs.
The Leopards based their complaint on the argument that the Currie Cup First Division was a double round tournament – including the
preceding Currie Cup Premier Division qualifying tournament – and
therefore required a five-match availability qualification period for play-off
The Valke argued that the tournament was a single round
competition and therefore required only a two-match qualification period.
SARU judicial officer Rob Stelzner ruled that the competition
was a single round tournament and that the Valke had not breached the
regulations as Swart had fulfilled the appropriate qualification criteria.
"In my view the First Division competition (as dealt with
under its separate heading) is to be treated as a separate and distinct single
round competition with the preceding qualifying round (separately dealt with
under a different rule) being played in a similar and distinct single round
format," wrote Stelzner in his verdict.
"In the circumstances the
complaint is not upheld."