Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 lock Marvin Orie on Wednesday received a one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle in the team’s Absa Under-21 Competition match against DHL Western Province.
Orie was cited on Sunday for tackling DHL Western Province lock JD Schickerling around the neck in the third minute of the clash and pulling him backwards until both players fell to the ground.
Schickerling suffered a fractured cervical spine at the C5/C6 level during the match. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Orie appeared before a SARU judicial committee on Tuesday in Pretoria.
In his findings judicial officer Advocate Tokkie van Zyl said it was highly improbable that Orie’s actions could have caused a serious neck injury.
He described the tackle as follows: “In evaluating the evidence as seen in the video material, it is clear that the player initially tackled the opponent by grabbing him around his arms from behind, thereafter releasing his grip and again grabbed (tackled) the opponent around the neck with his left arm.”
In his judgement Van Zyl said: “No medical or factual evidence was placed before me with regards to exactly when and how the opponent sustained the neck injury. I am, however, based on the evidence before me, of the view that it is highly improbable that the conduct of the player could have caused a serious neck injury to the opponent, although I cannot exclude such a possibility. For purposes of considering an appropriate sanction and due to a lack of any evidence to that effect, I cannot find that the injury to the opponent was caused by the conduct of the player and will accordingly not take the injury into account as an aggravating factor.”
He added: “I am further of the opinion that in the event of the conduct of the player having been penalised during the game, it would most probably have resulted in a penalty or a yellow card, but was not in my opinion a red card offence.”
Based on the evidence provided and having taken all mitigating factors into account, Van Zyl ruled that the incident was a lower-entry offence and suspended Orie for one week.