Robbie Coetzee of the Lions. Photo: BackpagePix
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee has accepted a guilty plea from Robbie Coetzee of the Lions for contravening Law 10.4(a) Striking with Knee, after he was Red Carded during a Super Rugby Match at the Weekend.

Coetzee has been suspended from all forms of the game for 5 weeks, up to and including 1 July 2017..

The incident occurred in the 31st minute of the match between the Lions and Kings played at Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg on 28 May 2017.

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, as well as a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Adrian Montzinger, the Foul Play Review Committee amended the charge to Law 10.4(a). The player admitted the amended charge."

"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play, which involved an intentional strike with the player's knee to an opponent's head, merited a mid range entry point of suspension for 8 weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's apology to the opposing player, his remorse and his early guilty plea, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 5 weeks."

"The player is therefore suspended for 5 weeks, up to and including the Saturday 1 July 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.