Monday, November 16, 2009
Springbok wing Bryan Habana has been cited for an alleged kick on Vincent Clerc during the Test between France and South Africa in Toulouse on Friday night.
The French achieved a famous 20-13 win in the South of France, but once again there's been another citing after a weekend of international rugby.
Habana is accused of kicking out at Clerc, who was lying on the floor at the time.
The case will be heard by the International Rugby Boards disciplinary committee on Wednesday.
According to citing commissioner for the match, Scott Nowland from Australia, Habana contravened Law 10.4 (c), which covers kicking an opponent.
With the clamp down on foul playing currently taking place, Habana may find himself banned for a lengthy period if deemed to be guilty. The recommended entry level for kicking an opponent is four weeks. That would mean he'd miss out on the upcoming Test against Italy, as well as the clash with Ireland the following week.
It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the decision is, considering that it wasn't as clear cut as one might think. One could say that judging by Habana's reaction, Damien Traille may well have pulled the wingers leg towards him, either intentionally or when trying to pull himself up.
Bryan Habana has been cleared of foul play and is free to play against Italy this weekend.
The IRB's judicial officer for the match, Lorne Crerar, considered a series of video clips as well as the player's explanation and was unable to determine, upon the balance of probabilities, that Habana had deliberately kicked Clerc.
A statement issued by the Six Nations disciplinary committee, which oversees the European November internationals, said that a "detailed examination of the video clips shows the upward body movement of France number 15 (Damien Traille) while gripping the lower leg of Bryan Habana, pulling Habana's leg towards him and the prostrate player (Clerc)".
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