Sharks centre Francois Steyn can put his feet up and enjoy his team’s bye week after a Sanzar disciplinary hearing cleared him of foul play during the match against the Waratahs.

Steyn was penalised in the 24th minute for a “dangerous” tackle on opposite number Kurtley Beale and was later cited by the match commissioner, but the hearing yesterday cleared him of deliberate wrongdoing, and he is free to play against the Lions next week in Joburg.

The citing commissioner had recommended an off-field red card and, if that had been upheld, it would have meant an automatic one-game suspension

Steyn pleaded guilty to the charge, and judicial officer Jannie Lubbe decided that an off-field yellow card was sufficient punishment, effectively meaning that Steyn has not been suspended.

An off-field yellow card does not carry a ban.

Lubbe ruled: “Steyn initially executed a legitimate tackle by grabbing the bottom of the jumper of the Waratahs player with both hands. This was done at speed and in a dynamic situation.

“In the process of the tackle, the ball was passed by Beale, but Steyn continued with the tackle (not having seen the pass), and Beale was flung to the ground. But there was no intent to injure his opponent.”

Ironically, Steyn was on the receiving end in the same match when Waratahs wing Rob Horne tackled him dangerously, leading with a swinging arm.

Horne also pleaded guilty and was handed a one-match suspension. - The Mercury