Springboks back-rower Jasper Wiese has been cleared by SANZAAR's Judiciary over a dangerous clean-out on Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi, however, will still miss this week's centurion Test against New Zealand.
Wiese was yellow-carded during the final minutes of Australia's 30-17 win over the world champions for making contact with the head of Kerevi at the ruck.
He was referred to the Judiciary for the incident as SANZAAR's Citing Commissioner 'deemed in his opinion the incident had met the Red Card threshold for foul play.'
However, the 25-year-old has avoided suspension, who believed the incident warranted only a yellow card issued by referee Matthew Carley as it clean-out 'not a highly dangerous incident.'
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, a medical report on the opposition player involved, and having considered the submissions from his legal representative, Attie Heyns, the Judicial Committee found that the Player had not committed an act of foul play worthy of the red card threshold," Judicial Committee Chair Michael Heron QC ruled.
“The Judicial Committee reviewed the case in accordance with Reg 17.16.1 of World Rugby’s regulations and the World Rugby Head Contact Process.
“The evidence and submissions on behalf of the player, together with surrounding circumstances, satisfied the Committee that the Citing Commissioner was not correct to find there was a high degree of danger involved.
“Whilst the Australian player was vulnerable, the contact with the head was not intentional or highly reckless. Weise was shown to be grabbing for the ball rather than targeting the head of the Australian player.
“The low force, modest speed, indirect contact and the turning motion used by Weise, meant that the situation was not a highly dangerous one (when compared to the World Rugby examples). The Australian player was completely uninjured and his statement suggested the contact looked more serious than it was.
“There was no adverse reaction by any of the players to the conduct. The referee was in a very good position to see the actions of Wiese.
“For those reasons, the Committee was satisfied that the Referee (with the assistance of the TMO) was correct to award a yellow card in the circumstances. The Committee reinforced that the Citing Commissioner was otherwise correct to find that this was foul play, and at least warranted a yellow card in the circumstances.
“Mr Wiese is therefore free to play in the upcoming matches.”
However, the timing of the decision has meant Wiese will still miss the centurion game against the All Blacks regardless, with South Africa naming their team late Tuesday evening (Australian time).
This forced coach Jacques Nienaber to leave him out of the side, expressing his frustration with the system.
“He was cited within the specific and correct time. So we knew he was cited within the correct time,” Nienaber explained. “The issue was with the timeline.
“So, there is a whole time frame of where what should be met. Everything happened according to the time frame that was put out on Friday. In the Barrett incident, his hearing was on the Monday at 5pm. Our hearing should have been on Monday at 5pm. So if the player gets found not guilty, he is still up for selection.
“For some or other reason, the people who had to sit on the judicial committee weren’t available at 5pm on Monday. So the hearing only happens today [Tuesday]. We only have one training and a captain’s run before we play the Test match. So it just made it impossible for us to select Jasper.
“We are not 100% sure why timelines weren’t met with us, but they were met with similar incidents two weeks ago, when Australia played against New Zealand. I am sure Sanzaar will come back to us on that.”
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