Senatla cops ban, Engelbrecht escapes sanction

Stormers duo Seabelo Senatla and Willie Engelbrecht have learned the outcome of their disciplinary hearings after both received red cards in the first round of the Rainbow Cup SA.

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Senatla has been been given a four-week suspension whereas Engelbrecht has had his second yellow card overturned by the disciplinary panel, meaning he is free for selection.

Senatla was shown a red card in the 14th minute of the match against the Cell C Sharks for a tackle on Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi. The wing was deemed to have breached Law 9.17: ‘A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.’

In the hearing conducted by judicial officer Adv Tokkie van Zyl (SC), Senatla admitted that the red card was justified, and the abbreviated process was followed.

The tackle was deemed to be a mid-level offence and warranted a four-week suspension, up to and including Friday, 4 June. This equates to four matches.

Engelbrecht was red-carded in the 47th minute after receiving his second yellow card (the first was in the 14th minute). Both cards were given for dangerous tackling where contact was made to the head or neck of the opposition.

Law 9.13 states: ‘A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.’

Judicial officer Adv Rob Stelzner (SC), however, deemed that the second yellow card was unwarranted. Consequently it has been expunged from Engelbrecht’s record and also means that the red card he received will similarly be removed. This means that the player faces no further disciplinary action and is free for selection.

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