Castres lock Ryno Pieterse has been handed a 12-week suspension for his ferocious tackle last month against Bordeaux-Begles in the Top 14.
The 23-year-old South African received a red card in the 64th minute of the 23-23 draw with Bordeaux-Begles on 18 September for a late and violent tackle on scrumhalf Maxime Lucu.
Lucu had just kicked the ball and still had both feet off the ground when the hulking Pieterse flew into him, striking Lucu high with a shoulder.
Lucu had to leave the game, though a week later he was fit to play the last 20 minutes against Brive.
The French National Rugby League disciplinary committee found Pieterse responsible for “dangerous play” and “tackling, charging, pulling, pushing or grabbing an opponent whose feet are not touching the ground”, according to a statement.
As is habitual, the disciplinary committee started by imposing a longer ban, 24 weeks, and then trimming it for extenuating circumstances, which in this case included Pieterse’s clean disciplinary record and his apology to Lucu.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Bordeaux-Begles coach Christophe Urios said, before pointing to the top of his chest. “Fortunately, he [Lucu] takes it there. Otherwise he [Pieterse] could kill him!”
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