Warwick Tecklenburg has been suspended for one week after being found guilty of recklessly charging into a maul.
The Lions flanker was found to have contravened Law 10.4 (h), which states “a player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without use of the arms, or without grasping a player”.
Tecklenburg was cited after last weekend's Super Rugby match against the Highlanders, but through his legal representative, denied any transgression of the applicable law. He argued that it was a fellow player, on to whom he had bound in order to join a maul, who caused his opponent, Dan Pryor, to be struck during the incident.
However, judicial officer Robert Stelzner found Tecklenburg guilty of reckless play, and he will now miss this Saturday's game against the Cheetahs.
In his finding, Stelzner ruled the following: 'After taking all relevant facts into consideration, we found the breach of the law with which the player was cited to have been established. The incident was found to have a lower-end entry point for breaching Law 10.4 (h), essentially on the grounds that there was no clear intent to commit the act of foul play and cause the injury which Pryor sustained. Although the player’s actions caused the Highlanders player to suffer an injury in the form of concussion, this was found to have been the consequence of overly robust play and recklessness rather than malicious intent.
'The recommended sanction for a lower-end transgression is two weeks’ suspension. The main mitigating factor which was taken into account was the player’s perfectly clean record spanning a career of over a decade at provincial and Super Rugby level entitling him to a reduction in the sanction of one week.'
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