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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Crusaders weren't cleared - Sanzar

The eye-gouging claims that overshadowed the Vodacom Bulls' win over the Crusaders on the weekend will fade into the darkness, but will leave some bad blood between the two former Vodacom Super Rugby champion teams if they happen to meet again later in the competition.

The Crusaders may have escaped censure by the Sanzar disciplinary appeal, but despite reports to the contrary, have not been cleared of the claims made during last Saturday’s game.

The matter has been let go simply because there is no evidence to substantiate the claim, Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters told 3News in New Zealand.

“It doesn’t mean they are cleared, it simply means that there is no video evidence to substantiate the claim,” Peters told the television station, adding that the governing body would not be looking at any further steps against either team.

The controversy angered the Crusaders and the Bulls replied on Monday that they would not submit to a demand for an apology, standing by their claims that the incidents happened.

But where the Bulls fell flat, Sanzar has now asked teams to add a second report after a match, something which was not done by the Bulls at the time. Therefore, there was no other evidence to consider other than the video footage of the match, which offered no help to substantiate the claims.

Peters said this would now become a requirement for any white card action.

“We’ll be telling the teams today that there will be an expectation from Sanzar that if they make a referral on field, they follow it up after the match,” Peters said.

The Sanzar CEO added that in future, any false claims would fall under bringing the game into disrepute, and punished accordingly.

“We would look at teams who are making vexatious complaints, or if we found it to be the case. We may take action under our code of conduct for bringing the game into disrepute.”


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