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Monday Aug 11, 2014

Griquas centre Jonathan Francke cited after awkward tackle and sending off

Griquas centre Jonathan Francke has been cited for his dangerous tackle during the 31-24 loss to the Sharks on the opening weekend of the Currie Cup. Franke was eventually red carded, in what was an awkward few minutes for referee Craig Joubert.

The Sharks got their campaign off to a solid start despite a courageous effort from the home side in Kimberly, who had to play 73 minutes with just 14 men.

SP Marais counter-attacked before Francke, in combination with fullback Nico Scheepers, lifted and twisted Marais into the turf in what resulted in an ugly spear, or tip-tackle.

Refere Joubert was left with little choice, although it did take a while before he found the correct player, with wing Rocco Jansen being given his marching orders before sanity prevailed and Francke came forward. To their credit, Griquas hung in and scored late in the game.

“We had a huge setback with Jonathan being red-carded,” said coach Hawies Fourie.

“It put us on the back foot, especially in the first half. We had a talk at half-time and I told the players just to remain calm and we will get back in the game.”

The Griquas outside centre has since been cited under law 10 .4 (j) for lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and /or upper body come into contact with the ground.

In all happened very quickly and Francke won’t be too pleased with Scheepers’ role in tipping Marais. It’s difficult to gauge just how much force was exerted by each player, but because of his position and the way he appeared to lift Marais’ leg, Francke played no further part.

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