Bismarck accepts ban, says sorry
Durban - Sharks skipper Bismarck du Plessis has accepted his four-week ban for kicking an opponent - and has apologised for his actions.
VIDEO: Watch Bismarck du Plessis kick an opponent
Du Plessis appeared in a SANZAR judicial hearing following his red card for foul play in the 18th minute of Saturday's Super Rugby match against the Chiefs at Kings Park.
Upon pleading guilty to the charge, SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden, handed Du Plessis a four-week suspension.
In acceptance of the punishment handed to him by SANZAR, Bismarck du Plessis said: “I want to unreservedly apologise for my behaviour both as captain and a senior player. My actions were unacceptable and I fully accept the punishment handed down to me by SANZAR.
“I will use these four-weeks off the field to reflect on my actions as both a leader and role-model in the game. I am painfully aware that people have lost faith in my character and the values I claim to stand for. I intend to rectify that through actions going forward and not merely words.”
He added: “By my very competitive nature, whenever I take to the field, I pride myself on playing the game hard and fair. Sadly my recent conduct did not reflect the fairness I refer to. I am passionate about the Sharks, my team-mates and the game but allowed my emotions to get the better of me.
“I acknowledge that I need to have better control of my emotions and I make no excuses for my actions.
“I would like to extend my sincere apologises to Michael Leitch, my opponent who was on the receiving end of my foul play. My intention was never to cause him bodily harm and I am thankful that he was not injured. I would also like to use this opportunity to apologise to my team-mates, Sharks fans and everyone else that I have let down.”
In addition to the punishment handed to Du Plessis by SANZAR, the Sharks have also handed the player a heavy punishment, details of which remain an internal matter.
Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold stated: “Discipline both on and off the field is a non-negotiable for me and it is a critical factor for success. Whilst I will always back my players in difficult times, it is important that we draw the line when it comes to foul play.
“Bismarck has apologised to our management and players for his actions and he has shown sufficient remorse for his behaviour. I trust that this is a learning experience for him and I am confident that he will emerge a stronger individual as a result.”