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Pieter Steph du Toit banned after denying head charge warranted red

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Springboks loose forward Pieter Steph du Toit has been banned despite denying his head charge into France centre Jonathan Danty warranted a red card.

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Du Toit was red-carded for the incident during South Africa’s international match against France in Marseille, a decision that severely hampered the Boks bid to topple the Six Nations champions.

While the committee accepted that the charge should be amended to a ‘reckless’ act rather than a ‘physiscal abuse’ incident under the Law, they banned du Toit for three weeks, reduced from six.

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Du Toit denied that the act warranted a red card.

An Autumn Nations Series statement said: “The player denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. However, having reviewed all available evidence and the submissions made by the player and his representative prior to and during the hearing, the judicial committee determined that the player had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card, having regard to the process set out within World Rugby’s Head Contact Process.

It appears the claim that Du Toit was propelled into Danty by fellow South African Kwagga Smith was not enough to get the giant blindside off the hook.

“The Disciplinary Committee found the player’s offending to be “reckless” (and not intentional or deliberate), and although there were some external factors identified with respect to the incident, they were not, on the evidence before the judicial committee , of a sufficient degree to justify a reclassification of the offending to below red card.”

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If the former World Rugby player of the year takes part in a coaching intervention session, he could have the ban further reduced to two weeks.

In either event, Du Toit will both this weekend’s game with Italy and the following weekend’s crunch showdown with England in Twickenham

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