Schalk Brits was involved in a punch-up with the Sharks' Akker van der Merwe on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

PRETORIA – Bulls hooker Schalk Brits was suspended for four weeks by the Sanzaar Foul Play Review Committee on Tuesday.

Brits had been cited following a punch-up with opposing number Akker van der Merwe of the Sharks during their Super Rugby match in Durban on Saturday.

The players broke out into a fist-fight in the 58th minute and both players were sent off as a result. The Bulls won the match 19-16.

In her finding, the Judicial Committee Chairperson Helen Morgan ruled the following: 

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Gert van der Merwe, the Judicial Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12.” 

“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.

“The evidence demonstrated the Player contacted the opposing Player's head with more than one punch. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's demonstrated remorse, extensive experience, the fact the Player’s actions were in self-defence and the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension by two weeks. 

Van der Merwe on Monday was sentenced to a three-week ban for his part in the incident. 

African News Agency (ANA)