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Arendse cops ban for incident that saw Barrett land on his head

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Springboks wing Kurt-Lee Arendse has been hit with a four-week ban for his horror air collision with Beauden Barrett during the Rugby Championship opener with New Zealand at the weekend.

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Arendse pleaded guilty to the SANZAAR charge relating to the misjudged tackle that saw All Blacks flyhalf Barrett land on his head at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Arendse contravened Law 9.17: A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground. He red carded in 74th minute for the incident and has now been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 17 September 2022.

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster and scrumhalf Aaron Smith were irate following the game.

“Our ability to diffuse their bombs is something that we need to fix, but their tactics there are a little bit borderline,” Smith said. “To see Beauden Barrett do a full flip is pretty scary. That is a part of the game that needs to be looked at a little bit. We have to do better to protect our jumpers.”

Foster was also spitting after the incident.

“We’re going to have a look at them chucking bodies in the air, we were pretty frustrated with that,” said the 57-year-old. “The one in the first half we weren’t very happy with, and certainly the last one, was very dangerous.

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“But that’s part of the game we’ve got to sort out. If they’re going to just chuck bodies up, and just throw people up in the air, it’s a very hard thing to deal with. That’s the game. We missed one and they scored, and that got them the early momentum.”

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Michael Heron QC 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, Attie Heyns, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the red card under Law 9.17.”

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee considered the act of foul play was reckless, highly dangerous and had a considerable impact on the victim player. The Committee accepted it was not deliberate and after considering all relevant factors decided the foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 8 weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s clean judicial record and his acceptance of guilt at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 4 weeks.”

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“The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including 17 September 2022.”

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