"Unbelievable" - Pieter-Steph du Toit handed ridiculously short ban - Ruck

“Unbelievable” – Pieter-Steph du Toit handed ridiculously short ban

South African back row, Pieter-Steph du Toit appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link yesterday morning.

It came after he received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.12 (a player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone) in South Africa’s international match against France on 12 November 2022.

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.  

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. 

Given the player’s offending involved head contact with an opposition player, the judicial committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play in breach of Law 9.11 resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week/match suspension.  

Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s evidence of remorse, contrition, exemplary prior disciplinary record and conduct during the hearing, the judicial committee reduced the six-week/match entry point by three weeks/matches, resulting in a sanction of three weeks/matches (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming playing schedule).

Antoine Dupont gets four weeks for his red card in the same game.

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