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Bulls prop Jacques van Rooyen suspended for dangerous tackle on Warrick Gelant

Jacques van Rooyen of the Bulls is tackled by JD Schickerling of Western Province during the 2020/21 Carling Black Label Currie Cup game between Western Province and the Bulls at Newlands Rugby Stadium on 28 November 2020. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Jacques van Rooyen of the Bulls is tackled by JD Schickerling of Western Province during the 2020/21 Carling Black Label Currie Cup game between Western Province and the Bulls at Newlands Rugby Stadium on 28 November 2020. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Dec 2, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Bulls prop Jacques van Rooyen has received a one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Western Province fullback Warrick Gelant.

Van Rooyen ploughed into Gelant just after the WP No 15 had passed the ball to Seabelo Senatla in the 46th minute of the Bulls’ 22-20 win at Newlands last Saturday.

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The Bulls No 1 received a red card from referee AJ Jacobs, but it was a controversial decision as the television match official, Rasta Rasivhenge, had initially advised Jacobs to consider a yellow card.

Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan, in a new video feature called ‘Kaplan’s Corner’ on the Bulls app, felt that the wrong call had been made by Jacobs as the initial point of contact had been shoulder to shoulder, and not directly to Gelant’s head.

“For me, when you look at the incident first-up, it definitely looks like it is shoulder to shoulder. When the referee AJ Jacobs asks Rasta Rasivhenge, the TMO, to have a look at it, Rasta says the point of contact is in the head area, and that AJ would need to consider a yellow card,” Kaplan said.

“If you look at the incident in slow motion, it does look as if it is a dangerous tackle – not a shoulder charge, a dangerous tackle, and that the point of contact is shoulder to shoulder.

“Where people get a bit confused is that if it was shoulder to shoulder, and then it shifts up to the head, this is still liable to be sanctioned in terms of a red card. The fact that it is shoulder to shoulder is important, but then you start looking at other factors.

“Somewhere along the line, I think there was a little bit of miscommunication between the match officials team. When AJ asks Rasta questions, he says ‘Is the initial point of contact with the head’, and Rasta says ‘Yes’.

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“That is obviously not true, because the initial point of contact is shoulder to shoulder. Is the level of force high, and the answer is yes – and that is correct. Is there mitigation, and the answer is no, and that is correct as well.

“So, based on that information, the referee – who does not have access to a big screen – for me, I don’t understand how he can be leading the discussion when he doesn’t have access to view it himself.

“All he is actually relying on are the words of the TMO, which in this case went from ‘need to consider a yellow card’ to a red card. I think, because there is no big screen, I can sympathise with the outcome, but I really don’t see a referee leading a discussion when he has no access to a big screen.”

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SA Rugby’s disciplinary committee decided that a one-week suspension was in order, and Van Rooyen will miss Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld (4.30pm kickoff).

Gerhard Steenekamp has been the back-up loosehead prop throughout the season and should be the favourite to don the No 1 jersey, but Springbok Lizo Gqoboka has been training with the team over the last week or so following a calf injury, and could be part of the match-23 that coach Jake White will announce on Thursday afternoon.

@ashfakmohamed

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