GWK Griquas outside centre Jonathan Francke was found not guilty at a SARU disciplinary hearing of executing a dangerous tackle in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division match between the GWK Griquas and Cell C Sharks in Kimberley on Saturday.
Francke was cited under law 10 .4 (j) for lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and /or upper body come into contact with the ground. The incident, involving Sharks player SP Marais, took place in the seventh minute of the first half. Following the incident Francke was shown a red card by referee Craig Joubert.
The disciplinary hearing was held on Tuesday afternoon in Bloemfontein. Francke, through his legal representative, Mr Stephan Weyers, pleaded not guilty.
Francke testified and conceded that he was responsible for lifting Marais’s legs through the horizontal and that it was his intention to bring the player safely down. He said, however, he had lost control in executing the tackle as a result of the involvement of a second Griquas player. This explanation was upheld by the Judicial Officer, advocate Pieter Fischer, after extensive viewing of the footage of the incident from various angles.
Adv. Fischer added: “Of importance in this regard is that Mr Craig Joubert, the vastly experienced referee, having confirmed this telephonically, was unsighted as to the involvement of (the other player) Scheepers. This is understandable in the circumstances especially when the video footage is considered from the angle/line of sight that the referee had.”
Advocate Fischer determined that he was not satisfied that Francke had executed a dangerous tackle in breach of law 10.4(j) warranting a red card and ordering off. Therefore, the red card and ordering off were not upheld.