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‘Remorse, good record’ sees Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit get reduced ban for head clash against France

‘Remorse, good record’ sees Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit get reduced ban for head clash against France

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Cape Town — Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit’s “remorse, contrition, exemplary prior disciplinary record and conduct” during his disciplinary hearing saw his World Rugby suspension reduced from six weeks to three on Thursday.

The Bok No 7 received a red card in the 12th minute of last Saturday’s 30-26 loss to France in Marseille after making contact with the head of centre Jonathan Danty in an attempt to clean him out at the breakdown.

Du Toit — the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year — trudged off and was soon in tears on the sidelines as he contemplated what had just happened.

It was an unlucky situation for the 30-year-old loose forward, as he had been pushed by teammate Kwagga Smith just before entering the tackle situation, and that played a part in him striking Danty with his own head.

World Rugby’s independent disciplinary committee — chaired by Stephen Hardy (Australia) and also including former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland) and ex-international lock John Langford (Australia) — considered all available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

Du Toit felt that his action was not worthy of a red card, but the committee found his “offending” to be “reckless (and not intentional or deliberate), and although there were some external factors identified with respect to the incident, they were not, on the evidence before the judicial committee, of a sufficient degree to justify a reclassification of the offending to below red card”.

The committee reduced the six-week/match entry point of sanction by three weeks/matches, which means that Du Toit is ruled out of Saturday’s Test against Italy in Genoa and next week’s encounter against England in London.

The Boks have picked Franco Mostert at No 7 in place of Du Toit for the Italy Test.

While Du Toit plays his club rugby for Toyota Verblitz in Japan, the third match of the sanction is still to be decided, as he was granted permission to apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme.

If that is completed, Du Toit may then substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

Original Article

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