Home Discliplinary actions Elliot gets 1 week and Bismarck gets 4

Elliot gets 1 week and Bismarck gets 4

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The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden has accepted a guilty plea from Hikawera Elliot of the Chiefs for contravening Law 10.4 (h) Dangerous Charging, after he was sent off in a Super Rugby match at the weekend.  

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Elliot has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week up to and including 28 March 2015.

The incident occurred in the 16th minute of the match between the Sharks and Chiefs played at Growthpoint KINGS PARK in Durban on 21 March 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden assessed the case.

In his finding, Casselden ruled the following:

“Having considered all matters, I was satisfied that a low entry point was appropriate which dictated a suspension of two weeks. The lower entry point was reached with some hesitation given the deliberate and reckless actions of the player in charging into the maul without the use of his arms and making contact with the head of the Sharks’ No. 1 with his right shoulder. His actions clearly placed his opponent at a risk of injury to his head and/or neck, however, I was satisfied on balance, that the player’s offending did not warrant a mid-range assessment of seriousness.

“With respect to mitigating factors, I took account of the following: the player has played four matches for the All Blacks, approximately 100 Super Rugby matches and in excess of 100 ITM Cup matches. The player has an impeccable disciplinary record, never previously receiving a red card or cited for foul play since commencing his professional rugby career in 2004.

“The player accepted that he committed an act of foul play at the first available opportunity. Taking those mitigating factors into account and the overall culpability of his offending, I was satisfied that the two-week suspension should be reduced to one week.

“Accordingly, the player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday 28 March 2015.”


The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden has accepted a guilty plea from Bismarck du Plessis of the Sharks for contravening Law 10.4 (c) A player must not kick an opponent, after he was sent off following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.  

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Du Plessis has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks up to and including 18 April 2015.

The incident occurred in the 18th minute of the match between the Sharks and Chiefs played at Growthpoint KINGS PARK in Durban on 21 March 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden assessed the case.

In his finding, Casselden ruled the following:

“The player’s kick was pre-meditated, intentional and unprovoked. It was reckless, that is the player knew (or should have known) there was a risk of committing an act of foul play. In my opinion the offence was a grave one and the possibility of serious injury existed.

“The Chiefs’ No. 8 was in a vulnerable position on the ground. He did not see the kick, even if he had, he had limited means available to him, given the position of his arms and body, to protect himself from the player’s actions.

“Whilst the player claims he was frustrated by Chiefs’ No. 8 not releasing him from the tackle earlier that does not, in my opinion, entitle him to retaliate by kicking his opponent in the area of the head with a studded boot. The head is of course sacrosanct.

“Mr. Swart, the Player’s representative, submitted that the offence was in the lower end of seriousness, particularly given no injury was sustained by Chiefs’ No. 8. I was unable to accede to that submission. Whilst it was fortunate that the player did not sustain an injury, he was nonetheless placed in a vulnerable position and the risk of him sustaining an injury to his head including in and around the eye area was clearly present. Accordingly, I found that the offence should be categorised as a mid-range offence and that the entry point of an eight-week suspension was the relevant starting point.

“I was informed that the player was suspended for three weeks in 2008 for dangerous contact to the head area of an opponent. Apart from that indiscretion, the player has not been found guilty of any foul play. In 2012 he received two yellow cards (a red card offence) in the one Test match against New Zealand which resulted in him being ordered off the playing enclosure. At the subsequent judicial hearing there was a finding by the judicial officer that the referee’s decision to issue one of the yellow cards was wrong. As a result, the red card issued in that Test match was expunged from his record.

“Although the player was suspended seven years ago for dangerous contact to the head of an opponent that does not, in my opinion, categorise the player as a repeat offender of the game to warrant any uplift on the entry point as an aggravating factor.

“Since 2008 it seems he has been a model player and in my opinion, no other aggravating factors existed for consideration other than those which were taken into account in determining the appropriate entry point.

“The player has played professional rugby for approximately 12 years. He has played 77 Test matches for South Africa, 125 Super Rugby matches and in the order of 47 Currie Cup matches. Apart from a three week suspension in 2008 the player’s disciplinary record is unblemished. This is his first red card offence in a lengthy first class playing career.

“I accepted that the player’s remorse and contrition for his offending was genuine and his acceptance that he committed an act of foul play at the earliest opportunity.

“Having regard to the above mitigating factors and the overall culpability of the player’s offending, I was satisfied that the eight week entry point should be reduced to four weeks. Accordingly, I offered the player a four week suspension as a preliminary indication of penalty in accordance with the DJO process, which was accepted.”

“The player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday 18 April 2015.”

All SANZAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a Duty Judicial Officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.

For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the DJO.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. ‘I am painfully aware that people have lost faith in my character and the values I claim to stand for. I intend to rectify that through actions going forward and not merely words.’ – Bismarck du Plessis

  2. I think they both should have gotten 8 weeks. It sends a message about off the ball foul play not being tolerated regardless of which is perceived to be more dangerous or worse based on the Officers opinion.

    Off course, a shoulder charge like that to the back of someone’s skull can at worst kill or paralyse, so why do I get the impression it is clearly treated as lesser offence?

    “The player’s kick was pre-meditated, intentional and unprovoked”

    Pre-meditated? Did I miss the pre-match banter where he said he would kick the next guy that tackles him? Biz was not provoked (as far as I could tell) but he reacted intentionally like a **** to a tackle, imo.

    Elliot’s charge however was pre-meditated – I deduce this by the fact that he took a moment, lined Beast up and shoulder charged his head. It was also both intentional and unprovoked, just like Biz’s. So why is the officer downplaying the offence?

    I don’t feel that Biz should have gotten a reduced sentence I am more perplexed about Elliot only getting 1 week.

    “The head is of course sacrosanct”
    I agree, and yet Elliot only gets one week.

    “Whilst the player claims he was frustrated by Chiefs’ No. 8 not releasing him from the tackle earlier that does not, in my opinion, entitle him to retaliate by kicking his opponent in the area of the head”

    Firstly, it should not be based on your opinion, it should be based on facts and due process. If the officer is in fact classing this as a retaliation then Biz is naturally less culpable of blame then Elliot is. And on top of this there also no means to justify Elliot shoulder charging a player in the back of the head.

    So having pointed out all the similarities of each case, and explained why perceived severity is not important, why is Biz lucky to get 4 weeks and not 8, and Elliot gets 1?

  3. This attitude issue has been going on for too long with Bismark and Frans Steyn. All the opposition need to do is get under their skin in a match and they will retaliate. Big risks at the RWC IMO.

    Elliot’s ban is interesting situation – how many rucks do players fly in with only the shoulder and it hardly gets penalised. This has gotten out of hand and Elliot’s charge shows where it is heading – pun intended

    Like the focus was put on players safety in the air it would be good for the IRB to focus on dangerous charging into a ruck with a shoulder only on exposed players. I would rather see old fashion rucking than this shoulder charge on players backs/necks or heads. Go through a game and you will find many similar on players going for the ball at the tackle. Why wait for the next serious injury when it is so obvious it is coming…

    Bring back old fashion rucking! Bring back the slipper! :Bakkies:

  4. What happened to the scumbag who kneed Cobus Reinach in the back?

    Nothing…

    I am sorry but the Citing Officers clearly are as pathetiic as the referees and should be replaced by independent guys from the UK or France.

  5. I looked at the Steyn thing too and it was a justified red but there were circumstances which did not help. Reinach pretty much fell over and tripped Steyn causing him to drop the player.

    It would be overreaction to suggest Steyn must now somehow be labled a dirty player because of one occasion.

  6. What about the patsie sent in to tap the SunKing midair?
    There should be NFL QB type overly-protective measures in place to protect the Messerschmit – for the good of the sport.
    Can you imagine if Dan Carter was upended in his prime by an SA player?
    Failure to do the above is proof World Rugby aspires to be as Sepp Blatter-y corrupt as FIFA.

  7. @DavidS:

    Steyn is an arrogant prick with a serious attitude Problem on and off the field. He questions every refereeing decision and Shows his disgust for every decision against him or his Team. That is all ok if you Play Soccer but for a Senior Rugby Player you expect a lot more self control and calmness.
    If you want to be respected as a Player you Need to learn to Show calmness even if you are frustrated and ready to explode inside. Smit for all his faults was a great leader thanks to his controll.

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