A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Steven Kitshoff of the Stormers guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
Kitshoff has been suspended for one week up to and including 31 March 2013.
The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the match between the Stormers and Brumbies at DHL Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday 23rd March 2013.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing held by video conference at 9am SAST, 6pm AEDT and 8pm NZDT on 25th March was heard by Adam Casselden.
In his finding, Mr Casselden ruled the following:
I have found that Mr Kitshoff did grasp Brumbies #10 around the neck gripping him between both arms in a “headlock” and then brought him to ground. This placed the Brumbies player in a vulnerable position and the risk of serious injury was obvious. I therefore found that on the balance of probabilities that Mr Kitshoff did execute a tackle above the line of Brumbies #10’s shoulder around his neck in breach of Law 10.4 (e). Law 10.4 (e) provides that a tackle around an opponent’s neck or head is dangerous. Accordingly, I upheld the citing and found the offence made out.
I have found that the entry point was at the low end. This dictates a suspension of two weeks. Taking mitigating factors into account I am satisfied that the two week entry point of suspension should be reduced to one week. Accordingly I suspended Mr Kitshoff from all forms of Rugby up to and including 31 March 2013.