Raymond Rhule has been hit with a three week ban after his red card in the Stormers’ 23-26 defeat to Lions at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

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The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee accepted a guilty plea from Rhule for contravening Law 9.25: A player must not intentionally charge or obstruct an opponent who has just kicked the ball.

He is now suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks, up to and including 22 June 2018.

The incident occurred in the 50th minute of the match between the Stormers and Lions played at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on 26 May 2018.

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The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stefan Terblanche and Stephen Hardy assessed the case.

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton 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, Adrian Montzinger, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.25”

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks, especially given that that act resulted in a blow to the opposing player’s head. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s excellent Judicial record, his good character and his early guilty plea at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks.”

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“The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including 22 June 2018.”

His Stormers teammate JJ Englebrecht also was hit with a one-week ban. He was issued with a yellow card and a warning for separate incidents during the match.

Englebrecht was shown a yellow card for a lifting tackle in the 37th minute, and was subsequently issued a warning by the Citing Commissioner for an incident involving a dangerous tackle during an attempted clean out, in the 52nd minute.

SANZAAR Disciplinary Rule 6.1 states: “6.1: If a Player has received two Warnings or a combination of a Warning and a Yellow Card during a match, he shall be treated for disciplinary purposes as if he has been sent off.”

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Englebrecht has been suspended from all forms of the game for 1 week, up to and including 2 June 2018.

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the nature of the persistent offending, together with the closeness together of the 2 incidents, merited an entry point of 2 weeks suspension. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Players excellent Judicial record and his admission of responsibility at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 1 week.” Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC stated.

“The player is therefore suspended for 1 week, up to and including 2 June 2018.”

Hooker Folau Fainga’a also pleaded guilty to foul play for his red card during Brumbies’ 38-28 win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee has accepted his guilty plea for contravening Law 9.12: Striking with head, after he was red carded following an incident which occured in the 62nd minute of the match with Bulls prop Mattys Basson.

Fainga’a has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week, up to and including 3 June 2018.

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the Player and submissions on his behalf, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.12” Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC said.

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a low end entry point of 4 weeks, given some degree of provocation before the incident and the relative lack of force in the contact between the 2 players.”

“Taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s excellent Judicial record, his youth and inexperience and his pleading guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 2 weeks. In addition, given the Player’s good character and the fact that, in the Committee’s view, 2 weeks was a wholly disproportionate sanction for an offence that only related to comparatively minor contact, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week.”

“The Player is therefore suspended for 1 week, up to and including 3 June 2018.”

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