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Wednesday Apr 1, 2015

Francois Steyn banned for 5 weeks after rescinded red card is overturned

Francois Steyn banned for 5 weeks after rescinded red card is overturned
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In a particularly brutal and controversy filled Super Rugby clash between the Sharks and the Chiefs, Francois Steyn was red-carded for an illegal tackle on fly-half Aaron Cruden. The rulings that followed have been quite puzzling to say the least.

Steyn was one of three players to be sent off during the ill-tempered affair, and subsequently also the third to receive a ban – however the circumstances are somewhat bizarre.

His teammate Bismarck du Plessis was dismissed from play having struck an opponent intentionally with his boot, he was cited and the review resulted in a four match suspension.

The process for Steyn’s examination and reprimand didn’t quite follow the same pattern however.

Having played a significant part in a dangerous tackle on Aaron Cruden, the South African’s actions were extensively scrutinised by the TMO and referee during a lengthy stoppage, which included the TMO trying to dissuade the referee from taking too stringent a view. 

Referee Angus Gardner went with his gut though, and Steyn was sent from the field.

As was the case with du Plessis, the body which operates Super Rugby, Sanzar, cited the Sharks player and were presented with a decision over whether his actions deserved a ban.

Officer Jannie Lubbe determined that Steyn, whilst involved with the tackle, was not directly responsible for the result and that the force of two teammates entering the contest resulted in Cruden’s awkward landing.

Having been cleared of all wrongdoing, and his red card being rescinded, it appeared Steyn’s case was over – however, in a somewhat curious twist, Sanzar appealed against their own ruling.

Following this turnaround, an official statement from SANZAR stated:

“The Appeals Committee unanimously upheld the appeal brought by Sanzar and found that Steyn breached Law 10.4 (j) and that the referee was correct to red card the player.”

Further to re-awarding Steyn with his previously repealed sending off, they also decided that the appropriate sanction would be four weeks, and taking into account the Sharks’ bye in Round 11 banned Steyn for five weeks, saying he is unable to compete in any form of the sport up to and including the 3rd of May 2015.

Do you think the incident deserved the red-card and a ban?

credit: lerugbynistere

19 Comments

  • mattmon10
    3:45 PM 03/04/2015

    As far as I'm aware there is no specific law saying you must not jump into a tackle, but it generally comes under the remit of "dangerous play". Like most things I suppose it comes under the discretion of the official on the day.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    10:16 AM 03/04/2015

    Donotfeedthetroll.

    Reply
  • drg
    8:59 AM 03/04/2015

    ...quite simply, shut the fuck up Phill.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:28 PM 02/04/2015

    It's often stated that you're not allowed to "jump into a tackle", but I would also be interested to know what law covers this, because I've never seen one...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:12 PM 02/04/2015

    So I pretty much nailed your view with my initial comment up the top eh? Thought so. ;) I thought my post here that you replied to was as clear as it could be. In my opinion, 8 and 9 had bugger all to do with it. The tackle by Steyn was exactly the sort that the tip tackle directive should be dealing with. Personally I don't agree with banning people for five weeks, but that's a different debate. Also agree that the process was an utter shambles. Just the original red card for what was a pretty dangerous tackle would have been a fair outcome in my view.

    Reply
  • jeri
    1:11 PM 02/04/2015

    Ridiculous call. Dangerous tackle? Fine. But 4 week ban? What the hell?

    Reply
  • oldflyhalf
    12:15 PM 02/04/2015

    Roger an question : where/who is the relevance, in this matter, in the fact that Cruden jump into tackle ? ...is illegally in rugby play to jump ? :)

    Reply
  • jeppy89
    10:19 PM 01/04/2015

    Instead of 'a lot' read 'all'

    Reply
  • elvis15
    9:02 PM 01/04/2015

    It's an important point that Cruden jumps into the tackle, and you can see even Messam lift his hands after the decision in apology to the other team. But, it doesn't absolve Steyn from the tackling motion he makes where he lifts, then drives while continuing to lift. I think it would have resulted in at least close to a spear tackle but likely still one even without the additions of the other players.

    Reply
  • drg
    8:18 PM 01/04/2015

    Said it above, a lot of people are saying "if the 9/8 didn't get involved would it be a spear?" My answer would be "if Steyn wasn't involved it DEFINITELY wouldn't have been a spear"... so it has to be a red and a ban of some sort.

    Reply
  • drg
    8:17 PM 01/04/2015

    Stroudos said it below, to me it's the fact that Steyn was the one 'lifting'. A lot of people say 'take the 9 out and would it be a spear/tip'... I guess the argument could be, "not 100% sure, but if you took Steyn out of the tackle it definitely wouldn't have been a spear/tip'..

    Reply
  • drg
    8:13 PM 01/04/2015

    Missed out cous-cous and vegans though...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:40 PM 01/04/2015

    Comment 1 - excellent. Comment 2 lost you a lot of credibility.

    Reply
  • guy
    1:26 PM 01/04/2015

    I do agree with the red. The fact that other tacklers are involved should not mean a card can't be handed out. It looked quite dangerous to me, landed on his neck with a few people on top of him. The ban...hmmm, not so sure. In this instance the fact that there were more tacklers involvolded might have been taken into consideration. Maybe they did, I did not read the completen ruling.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:06 PM 01/04/2015

    Pretty straightforward to me. The money-shot is at about 1:03 where on Cruden's descent towards the turf you clearly see Steyn still lifting his leg. Black 8 and 9 had very minimal effect on the tackle. Penalty and, under current directives, a red card. Does he need to be banned for five weeks? No, not in my opinion. But that is another matter.

    Reply
  • bunn
    12:58 PM 01/04/2015

    Tbh, the Bismarck was pretty bad! However, i'll say it quietly because I'm not trying to legitimise tip tackles, but I can't remember players getting injured because of them.....

    Reply
  • bunn
    12:55 PM 01/04/2015

    It's a problem I've had a while with citing one person for a gang tackle. How can you say that it is one tacklers responsibility? It is the same as penalising a player for a high tackle if it happens because the attacking player is tackle a split second before and is on the way down? It's a difficult position to take, you either punish one player or none

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    12:42 PM 01/04/2015

    Would it had been dangerous if the 2nd player hadn't helped with the tackle? Not sure. I have an idea. How about the ref just lets the 30 players just keep playing? This citing process is so weird and legalistic. A five week ban is a serious thing and they hand them out like candy.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:38 PM 01/04/2015

    Part of the game. These things happen. It's a tough physical game. Gladiators. Broccoli. @PhillNZ, there you go mate, I've save you the effort. You're welcome. ;)

    Reply


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