Flip banned for Ellis Park Test

Flip van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
Flip van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe has been banned for one week and will miss the Rugby Championship title decider against the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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A SANZAR judicial hearing on Monday found Van der Merwe guilty of contravening Law 10.4(e) - Dangerous Tackling, which also constituted a breach of Law 10.4 (a) - Striking, after he was cited striking Australian wing Joe Tomane with his elbow during their clash at the weekend.

Van der Merwe was subsequently suspended for one week up to and including October 5.

The incident occurred in the 39th minute of the match at Newlands, which the Boks won 28-8.

The hearing was held via video conference on Monday morning.

In his finding, Nicholas Davidson QC ruled the following:

"The player was initially sin-binned for a dangerous tackle but the citing alleged a deliberate striking. After hearing from the player’s counsel Mr Weyers, the player and Mr (Ian) Schwartz, the South African manager. The judicial officer concluded that this was a breach of Law 10.4 (e) as a dangerous tackle executed high and leading with the forearm and without any attempt to grasp the player in the initial contact. It was also a strike under Law 10.4 (a) but not intentional as cited. Mr Mike Mika, a former professional player, assisted the judicial officer."

"Van der Merwe has a good disciplinary record at international and Super Rugby level and has never before been suspended. Mr Schwartz spoke extremely well of him as a player and a personality in the game. Although breach was denied, the judicial officer concluded that his record and conduct including a concerned approach to the Australian player warranted a discount to a one-week suspension only."

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