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Argentina fullback receives ban for challenge on Bok scrumhalf

DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Argentina fullback Juan Cruz Mallia received a two-week ban for his challenge on Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams in last weekend’s Rugby Championship encounter at Ellis Park.

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A SANZAAR Judicial Committee found the player guilty of contravening Law 9.11: Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.

From the opening kick-off, the ball was collected by Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams – who attempted a clearance. Cruz Mallia jumped to charge down the clearance and his hip collided with the head of Williams – knocking the Bok No.9 out cold.

The referee, Andrew Brace of Ireland, called it a ‘rugby incident’ and took no action.

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee of Nigel Hampton (Chairman), David Croft and Ofisa Tonu’u assessed the case.

In his finding, Hampton ruled 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.

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“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 two weeks.”

“The player is therefore suspended for two weeks, up to and including 18 August 2023.”

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