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Cheetahs flyer learns his fate after Challenge Cup red card

DISCIPLINARY NEWS: Cheetahs wing Munier Hartzenberg received a suspension for his red card in his team’s 28-29 Challange Cup defeat to Oyonnax last weekend.

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The 26-year-old was sent off by referee Anthony Woodthorpe (England) in the 19th minute of the match for tackling Oyonnax fullback Maxime Salles in the air in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.17.

Hartzenberg has been suspended for two matches. However, the good news is that he will be available for his team’s Challenge Cup Round of 16 tie against Clermont Auvergne on the weekend of April 5/6/7.

That is because the speedster would have been considered for selection for the Cheetahs’ SA Cup matches against Boland on March 23 and against the Leopards on March 30.

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“An independent disciplinary committee comprising Roddy MacLeod [Scotland], Chair, Martyn Wood [England] and Chris Morgan [Wales] studied video imagery of the incident and heard evidence from Hartzenberg who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card,” said an EPCR statement.

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“The committee also heard submissions from the player’s legal representative, Attie Heyns, from the Cheetahs Team Manager, Ashwell Rafferty, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The committee upheld the red card decision finding that Hartzenberg had tackled Salles in the air in a dangerous manner and it determined that the offending was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

“Taking into account his acceptance that his actions amounted to foul play and his clear disciplinary record, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by the maximum of 50 percent before imposing a two-week suspension.

“Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

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‘Meanwhile, Northampton Saints hooker Curtis Langdon has been suspended for four weeks following a disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Champions Cup Round Four match against Munster at Thomond Park.

Langdon was sent off by the referee, Tual Trainini (France), in the 39th minute of the match for making reckless contact to the head of the Munster lock, Thomas Ahern, in contravention of Law 9.11.

“An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Rhian Williams [Wales], Chair, Bogdan Zebega [Romania] and Jamie Corsi [Wales] studied video imagery of the incident, and heard evidence from Langdon who accepted the red card decision,” said an EPCR statement.

“The committee also heard submissions from the player’s legal representative, John Shea, from the Northampton Saints Head of Recruitment and Retention, Paul Shields, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The committee upheld the red card decision and determined that Langdon should be sanctioned for striking with the knee under Law 9.12.

Law 9.12 A player must not physically abuse anyone
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 Striking with the knee carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-range: 8 weeks; Top end: 12 to 52 weeks

“The committee then decided that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and eight weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

“Taking into account the player’s guilty plea and his clear disciplinary record, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by the maximum of 50% before imposing a four-week suspension.

“The date when Langdon can return to play will be determined once the committee has received full details of his future playing schedule.”

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