"Verdict is Out" - Argentina's Juan Cruz Mallia Banned After Flying Hit on Springbok - Ruck

“Verdict is Out” – Argentina’s Juan Cruz Mallia Banned After Flying Hit on Springbok

Argentina fullback Juan Cruz Mallia has been cited for the dangerous challenge he put in on Springboks scrum half Grant Williams. The charge down has warranted a two-week ban, following a post-match citation.

The incident took place in the first minute of the Rugby Championship match, with Mallia jumping in hip first, and the impact knocking Williams unconscious. The Los Pumas man collided with the South African, after Williams had cleared the ball from the boot.

Williams was subsequently stretchered off the field at Ellis Park, having sustained a suspected concussion from the charge down. The matchday referee Andrew Brace regarded the impact as a ‘rugby incident’, and did not present Mallia with a card. However, a post-match review from the match’s citing commissioner deemed the incident to be a red-card offence.

SANZAAR confirmed that Mallia has since received a two-week ban for the offense, up to and including 18th August 2023. As reported by SA Rugby Mag, Judicial Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton KC’s verdict was the following:

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, the Argentinian coach and the match referee, as well as submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the citing under Law 9.11.” 

“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee considered the act of foul play was reckless, with a high degree of danger and had a considerable impact on the victim player. 

“The Committee considered all relevant factors of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process and sanctioning table, but given the evidence from both the referee and the coach as to how successful charge downs of kicks are viewed by match officials and as to how coaching of players is conducted as a consequence, the Committee decided that a mid-range sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the player’s fault and that the foul play merited a low-range entry point of 2 weeks.”