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Jaco Kriel © Gallo Images

No further sanction for Kriel

Emirates Lions flanker Jaco Kriel had his disciplinary-hearing charge dismissed after being cited for the late tackle on Robert du Preez during last Saturday’s win over the DHL Stormers at Newlands.

Kriel was cited for the incident despite being given a yellow card by the referee Jaco Peyper as citing commission Deker Govender felt it had breached the red-card threshold.

The Lions were incensed when Kriel was cited and the incident has been a hotly contested  topic on social media over the course of the week, especially as the referee and citing commissioner seemed to have missed other transgressions in the game.

Sanzaar’s disciplinary committee threw out the charge, finding him not guilty of contravening Law 10.4(o) - late charging the kicker.

“No further sanction has been imposed on the player,” a Sanzaar statement said.

“The incident occurred in the 26th minute of the match between the Stormers and Lions played at DHL Newlands, Cape Town on Saturday 15 April 2017.

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“The SANZAAR Judicial Hearing held via video conference on Wednesday 19 April 2017was heard by Andre Oosthuizen (Chairman), David Croft and Eroni Clarke.

“In his finding, the Judicial Committee Chairman Andre Oosthuizen ruled the following:

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Frikkie Erasmus, the Judicial Committee concluded that the Red Card threshold had not been met to satisfy the citing and that the on field Yellow Card was sufficient."

"The Judicial Committee found that the Player came into contact with the opposing Fly Half in the course of the Player attempting to charge down, that his action did not amount to an intentional late charge or obstruction and accordingly had not committed a transgression of Law 10.4(o)."

"The player is therefore free to resume playing.”


The Lions will breathe a sigh of relief that Kriel is able to play, but the incident has once again raised questions about the judicial process, which was overhauled by Sanzaar earlier this season after complaints of lopsided sentences and regional bias last year.

Lions fans were also upset at the fact that Stormers captain Siya Kolisi received no sanction for sticking his fingers in the eyes of Ross Cronje in the opening minute of the game.

Social media has been buzzing with a clip doing the rounds early in the match where Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi both tackle Lions scrumhalf Ross Cronje over the touchline, with Kolisi continuing to push at Cronje’s face after the tackle is completed.

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Sources tell Supersport.com that the citing commissioner was alerted by the Lions to the incident after the game, but decided it was not worth citing Kolisi for what transpired.

It was less than a month ago where the Stormers were complaining that Sunwolves captain Ed Quirk had used a knee to the head of Kolisi in their match in Singapore, which also wasn’t picked up by the citing commissioner.

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Instead, many of the citings have concerned high tackles, with harsh sentences being drafted out to players as referees and administrators try to send a clear message that any contact with the head will not be tolerated.

This may well be, for obvious reasons, why Kriel was cited as there was contact to the head.

Sanzaar earlier this season revamped its judiciary after several cases of lopsided verdicts which caused confusion and anger among fans, players and officials.

But as with anything, practical examples show where the system succeeds or fails and in the case of Quirk it clearly was missed by all involved.  While Kolisi’s case is less clear, it once again highlights the need for a transparent process for fans and teams to understand just what constitutes a red-card offence.


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