South Africa’s replacement No.8 Jasper Wiese has been cleared of further punishment after being cited for his brutal clean out of Australia’s Samu Kerevi in the dying stages of Saturday’s clash.
Wiese received a yellow card from referee Matthew Carley when he appeared to make contact with Kerevi’s head with his shoulder but a SANZAAR Judicial Committee found the contact was “not intentional or highly reckless.”
SANZAAR said in a statement early Tuesday that a review of the illegal clear out found that the incident met the threshold for a red card.
But Wiese, who was earlier left out of the squad to play the All Blacks on Saturday, was then cleared by the SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing.
“No further sanction has been imposed on Wiese and he is free to play,” SANZAAR said in a statement.
In his finding, the Judicial Committee Chair Michael Heron QC ruled:
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, a medical report on the opposition player involved, and having considered the submissions from his legal representative, Attie Heyns, the Judicial Committee found that the Player had not committed an act of foul play worthy of the red card threshold.
“The Judicial Committee reviewed the case in accordance with Reg 17.16.1 of World Rugby’s regulations and the World Rugby Head Contact Process.
“The evidence and submissions on behalf of the player, together with surrounding circumstances, satisfied the Committee that the Citing Commissioner was not correct to find there was a high degree of danger involved.
“Whilst the Australian player was vulnerable, the contact with the head was not intentional or highly reckless. Weise was shown to be grabbing for the ball rather than targeting the head of the Australian player.
“The low force, modest speed, indirect contact and the turning motion used by Weise, meant that the situation was not a highly dangerous one (when compared to the World Rugby examples). The Australian player was completely uninjured and his statement suggested the contact looked more serious than it was.
“There was no adverse reaction by any of the players to the conduct. The referee was in a very good position to see the actions of Wiese.
“For those reasons, the Committee was satisfied that the Referee (with the assistance of the TMO) was correct to award a yellow card in the circumstances. The Committee reinforced that the Citing Commissioner was otherwise correct to find that this was foul play, and at least warranted a yellow card in the circumstances.
“Mr Wiese is therefore free to play in the upcoming matches.”