Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann is not a fan of players receiving red cards during games.
Ackermann was responding after Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee was slapped with a five-week ban for a red card he received during his side’s 54-10 Super Rugby win over the Southern Kings on Sunday.
Coetzee was sent off in the first half of the clash at Ellis Park after striking Kings flank Chris Cloete in the face with his knee.
Coetzee was retaliating after Cloete had dangerously barged into a ruck.
Ackermann feels a yellow card should be the maximum penalty during a match as a red card “takes the contest out of it”.
"I firmly believe there is enough time after a match for the whole process of reds cards, etcetera," Ackermann was quoted as saying by Rugby365.
"If it was a serious offence, the guy will pay the price eventually. The people come out to watch a fair contest. Think about spear tackles. There is no intent, yet the player pays the (ultimate) price."
In an interview with Netwerk24, Ackermann also defended Coetzee’s intentions.
“I know Robbie didn’t mean to hurt the Kings player, he was merely reacting to what was happening in front of him. Robbie is not a dirty player and he’s not that sort of person.”
After appearing before SANZAAR’s foul play review committee, Coetzee was suspended from all forms of the game for five weeks, up to and including July 1, 2017.
However, due to the upcoming Super Rugby break in the international window, Coetzee will only miss ONE game for the Lions - against the Sunwolves in Johannesburg on July 1.
The SANZAAR foul play review committee of Nigel Hampton (chairperson), Stefan Terblanche and John Langford assessed the case.
In his finding, Hampton ruled the following:
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, as well as a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Adrian Montzinger, the foul play review committee amended the charge to Law 10.4(a). The player admitted the amended charge.
"With respect to sanction the foul play review committee deemed the act of foul play, which involved an intentional strike with the player's knee to an opponent's head, merited a mid-range entry point of suspension for eight weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player's apology to the opposing player, his remorse and his early guilty plea, the foul play review committee reduced the suspension to five weeks.
"The player is therefore suspended for five weeks, up to and including the Saturday, July 1, 2017.”