Hurricanes wing Kobus van Wyk has been handed a three-week suspension by SANZAAR for a dangerous tackle against Brad Weber during his side’s 31-18 win over the Chiefs in Wellington last week.
The 28-year-old South African was yellow carded by referee James Doleman for picking up and dumping Weber near the end of the first half.
Van Wyk was subsequently cited for his actions after it was alleged that he contravened Law 9.18: A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact with the ground.
Following a hearing conducted on Thursday, van Wyk pleaded guilty to the contravention and was given a three-week suspension by the three-person judicial committee.
The judicial committee chairperson, Stephen Hardy, outlined that van Wyk’s indiscretion warranted a six-week suspension due to the recklessness of his offence.
However, van Wyk’s clean judicial record, early guilty plea and expression of genuine remorse resulted in his ban being cut back to three weeks.
“The Judicial Committee, having conducted a detailed review of all of the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, and determined that the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of six weeks,” Hardy said in a statement.
“This was primarily due to the reckless rather than intentional nature of the action which ultimately placed van Wyk’s opponent in a vulnerable position but which did not cause an injury to the opponent.
“When taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s clean judicial record and the fact the player pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and demonstrated genuine remorse for his actions, the Judicial Committee reduced his suspension to three weeks.”
Van Wyk’s is likely to have little bearing on his Super Rugby future given that he will depart the club to join Leicester Tigers in the coming weeks, while the Hurricanes’ clash with the Highlanders on Saturday will be their final match of the season.
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