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No citing for Jesse Kriel following review of tackle

By Kim Ekin
Jesse Kriel of South Africa reacts during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between South Africa and Scotland at Stade Velodrome on September 10, 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Springboks centre Jesse Kriel has not been cited following his side’s victory over Scotland at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille in the opening round of the Rugby World Cup.


The Boks ran out 18-3 winners but some fans and pundits questioned whether a collision between Kriel and Scotland No.8 Jack Dempsey just two minutes into the game constituted a head-on-head contact. Stills from the game that did the rounds of social media seemed to indicate as much but a review of the incident has found that Kriel has no case to answer.

To provide a clearer perspective on what the Citing Commissioner would have assessed, it is crucial to understand that they would have meticulously reviewed all available camera angles in both real-time and slow-motion. The ultimate aim would have been to ascertain whether there was clear and obvious foul play, specifically any instance of head contact.

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TMO Ben Whitehouse, who would have been tasked with alerting referee Angus Gardner should foul play have occurred, is understood to have dealt with it live during the match. Their assessment of the situation was that there was no clear and obvious foul play, which aligns with the standard set for such cases.


The fact that no citing has since been made with the 36-hour window suggests that Whitehouse’s call has been vindicated by the citing commissioner.

Speaking about the incident on Monday, Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said: “We are really comfortable; there hasn’t been a citing (and) I’m pretty sure there won’t be a citing. If it isn’t direct head contact – and it wasn’t, it was tackled on the ball and then he moved up after tackling on the ball. I’ve seen a few stills where people just (show) after direct contact to the ball.

“If you took it a millisecond or a second or two back, you’ll see that he clearly tackled on the ball. So we’re very happy with how it was refereed.


“I think Finn Russell’s call was much closer. Unfortunately, he got injured then, I think that deflected a little bit from the action that he did, but we were happy with the decision that was made.”




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