Juan Cruz Mallia, the Argentine full-back, has been suspended for two weeks after disnising Grant Williams early in the Ellis Park test between the Springboks and Argentina.
The action-packed test in Johannesburg started in the worst possible way when the exciting Williams received a very hard blow to the head within 11 seconds of the start of the duel.
The Sharks player kicked the ball away near his goal line, but a flying Cruz Mallia collided with his hip and he was taken off the field on a stretcher a short time later.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber confirmed after the match that the 27-year-old scrumhalf will be on the sidelines for at least two weeks.
Referee Andrew Brace labeled the incident a “rugby incident”, but the Argentinian player had to appear before a disciplinary committee this week. Rule 9.11 stipulates that a player may not be guilty of reckless and dangerous play.
A Sanzaar disciplinary committee, which was chaired by Nigel Hampton (chairman), David Croft and Ofisa Tonu’u, found that a suspension of two weeks – up to and including 18 August – was justified.
“The disciplinary committee found that the incident of foul play was reckless and dangerous, while it also had a significant impact on the victim-player,” Hampton said in his official statement.
According to Hampton, all contributing factors were considered and it was decided that a mid-level suspension would be disproportionate to the player’s offense and that a low-level entry point suspension of two weeks is more appropriate.
The Springboks play in a World Cup preparation match against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday. The match starts at 21:10 and the action is broadcast live on SuperSport.