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'I bailed out of the tackle...': Sale's Rob du Preez cops ban for last weekend's red card

By Liam Heagney

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Sale out-half Rob du Preez has been given a three-match ban following his red-carded tip tackle during last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership win over Gloucester. He was sent off by referee Adam Leal in the 23rd minute of the game and appeared before an online disciplinary panel on Tuesday night.      


A statement confirming the ban read: “Du Preez accepted the charge and was given a three-week suspension by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Ian Unsworth (chair) with Mitch Read and Tony Wheat. He is free to play again on May 18.”

Du Preez will now miss the April 24 game at Worcester, the May 7 home tie with Leicester and the trip to Bath on the weekend of May 15. 

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The referee’s report, which was included in the judgment published by the RFU, read: “Gloucester 1 (Val Rapava Ruskin) won the ball in a turnover at a ruck before running into contact with Sale 10 (du Preez). Sale 10 lifted Gloucester 1 in a dominant tackle and took him through the horizontal and the tackled player landed dangerously on the side of his head. 

“I immediately awarded a penalty to Gloucester and stopped play to consult with the TMO to confirm landing point. After a short consultation, we confirmed the foul play and landing point (the side of his head) and issued a red card to Sale 10. We had the opportunity to observe the match footage which confirmed the accuracy of that description.”

In a letter to the panel, du Preez wrote: “I’d like to take responsibility for my tackle and fully accept the charge against me. I would also like to put in writing my sincerest apologies to Val and am truly thankful he did not suffer any injury as a result of my actions.


“The incident itself was entirely unintentional and I certainly did not intend to cause any harm to Val. I saw Val had stolen the ball at the breakdown and had a significant run-up before I could get in a position to tackle him. I was also aware of his size and knew I would need to tackle him as hard as I could in order to attempt to bring him down. As I engaged in the tackle I was genuinely surprised at how easily I was able to put force through him.

“Unfortunately as I lifted his legs in the tackle I wasn’t able to control the balance of the tackle and his legs went above the horizontal. I recognised I wouldn’t be able to bring him down safely so I bailed out of the tackle in an attempt to not drive him into the ground. I immediately apologised to Val following the incident and sought him out again after being shown the red on the pitch to issue a further apology.”

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'I bailed out of the tackle...': Sale's Rob du Preez cops ban for last weekend's red card