Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman has been handed a 6-week ban after he was found guilty of biting the stomach of Melbourne Rebels backrower Richard Hardwick at the weekend. He will be out of action until 2 June.
A SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing found Pierre Schoeman guilty of contravening Law 9.12 – A Player must not physically abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to Biting.
The incident occurred after Hardwick cleared out Schoeman at a ruck, and a scuffle ensued.
Skipper Tom English tried to draw attention to the clear bite mark on Hardwick’s stomach, but footage for the TMO was inconclusive at the time.
The judicial hearing will have had other angles as well as testimonies from all involved.
In his finding, Judicial Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC ruled the following:
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Attie Heyns, the Judicial Committee accepted the player’s guilty plea and upheld the citing.
“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 12 weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s early guilty plea, his good character, his good disciplinary record and his remorse the Judicial Committee reduced the suspension to a period of six weeks.”
Ahead of the hearing, Bulls coach John Mitchell spoke about the incident and said that he would not be picking Schoeman regardless of the result of the hearing.