The Sanzaar Foul Play Review Committee has accepted a guilty plea from Kwagga Smith of the Lions for his dangerous tackle on Crusaders fullback David Havili during Saturday's Super Rugby final at Ellis Park.
Smith was given a red card by referee Jaco Peyper in the 38th minute after taking out Havili in the air after chasing an up-and-under by Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies.
The Lions flank will be out of rugby until and including September 2.
Sanzaar said in a statement on Monday that Smith was suspended for "contravening Law 10.4(i) Tackling, pushing, pulling, colliding with or otherwise making contact with an Opponent who is jumping for the ball in a line out or in open play where there is no realistic prospect of the player competing for the ball".
The Sanzaar Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stefan Terblanche and John Langford assessed the case.
In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC ruled the following:
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Attie Heyns, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the ordering off and amended the charge from Law 10.4(e) to Law 10.4(i)."
"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 8 weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's good Judicial record and the Player's admission of guilt at the first available opportunity the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 4 weeks."
"The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including the 2 September 2017.”
All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the Foul Play Review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee.
African News Agency (ANA), Staff Writer