Sharks players cleared after Sanzar hearing

2009-04-23 00:00

Their citings were heard in Durban by Sanzar judicial officer advocate Dekker Govender and both players were found not guilty.

Tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis was cited by Prior for striking Crusaders flank Richie McCaw in the 38th minute of the match.

Du Plessis pleaded not guilty to his charge and was represented by attorney Gerrie Swart and accompanied by Sharks coach John Plumtree.

Referee Mark Lawrence, who was close to the incident, saw no contact being made by both players, but warned both players to keep their discipline and play

proceeded.

Both players were lunging at each other according to the judicial officer and, as the incident did not warrant a red card by the match referee, no further action was deemed necessary.

Daniel was cited by Prior for a dangerous tackle on Crusaders centre Tim Bateman in the 14th minute of the first half.

Daniel pleaded not guilty to the charge and had attorney Swart and Plumtree in his corner.

The incident took place in front of assistant referee (touch judge) Craig Joubert, who reported the dangerous tackle — a penalty was awarded against the Sharks.

The defence supplied further footage which revealed another angle to the tackle that showed the initial contact made by Daniel on Bateman to be below the right shoulder.

Bateman ducked and as a result, Daniel’s arm made contact with his neck.

The judicial officer again decided to take no further action.

A player is cited if the commissioner believes that the incident of illegal play was serious enough to warrant a red card.

The Sharks, who have a bye this weekend, have been given a break this week but, for Du Plessis and Daniel, the last five days have not been relaxing ones.

The Sharks return to action on May 2 when they face the Highlanders in Durban and they complete their round robin action with home games against the Waratahs (May 9) and the Bulls (May 16).

The Sharks are joint log-leaders with the Chiefs, but have played an additional game and they will be hoping that the Bulls can down the Chiefs at Loftus this weekend to again throw the race for top spot wide open.

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