Argentina fullback Juan Cruz Mallia has been handed a light suspension for his challenge on Grant Williams that knocked the scrumhalf out in the clash between the Springboks and Los Pumas.
Sanzaar confirmed on Friday morning that Cruz Mallia has been suspended from all forms of the game for 2 weeks up to and including 18 August 2023.
This comes after he was cited for his dangerous charge on Williams in the opening minute of the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina at Ellis Park.
While Cruz Mallia successfully charged the ball down, he did so in a reckless way that resulted in him making dangerous contact with Williams’ head, resulting in the Springbok scrumhalf suffering a concussion and having to be stretchered off the field.
The challenge was considered as a “rugby incident” by referee Andrew Brace, but upon further review, the match’s citing commissioner deemed that it met the red card threshold.
The SANZAAR Judicial Committee of Nigel Hampton KC (Chairman), David Croft and Ofisa Tonu’u assessed the case. In his finding, Judicial Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton KC ruled the following:
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, the Argentinian coach and the match referee, as well as submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the citing under Law 9.11.” “With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee considered the act of foul play was reckless, with a high degree of danger and had a considerable impact on the victim player.
“The Committee considered all relevant factors of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process and sanctioning table, but given the evidence from both the referee and the coach as to how successful charge downs of kicks are viewed by match officials and as to how coaching of players is conducted as a consequence, the Committee decided that a mid-range sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the player’s fault and that the foul play merited a low-range entry point of 2 weeks.”
Photo: PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP