Kaplan: Steyn deserved red

    2015-03-25 07:18

    Cape Town - Retired South African referee Jonathan Kaplan says Sharks centre Frans Steyn deserved to see red in his side’s Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs at Kings Park last weekend.

    READ: Steyn cleared of tip-tackle!

    Steyn was sent off after performing a tip-tackle on Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden. He was cited following the game, but was then found not guilty at a subsequent SANZAR hearing, with the red card expunged from his record.

    In all, there were three red cards in the game, with Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis and Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot also sent off.

    Elliot received a one-week ban for a shoulder charge on Sharks prop Beast Mtawarira, while Du Plessis was banned for four weeks for kicking Chiefs No 8 Michael Leitch in the face.

    Kaplan, writing on his website,, said Australian referee Angus Gardner got all three red card calls correct.

    “Mention must be made of the referee, who under the most trying of circumstances got all three red cards right,” Kaplan wrote.

    “No referee likes to dish out the dreaded red, but Angus Gardner showed great courage when he needed to step up to the plate.

    “The first two were foul play, plain and simple. The third (Steyn incident) was more complex but in my opinion correct. It is the responsibility of the tackler who lifts an opponent off the ground to ensure that he gets down safely. The fact that someone else joined in the tackle is unfortunate, and was used in mitigation of sentence, but doesn’t excuse what happened.”

    CLICK HERE to read Kaplan’s full column

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