Van der Merwe cleared to play
Wed, 16 Oct 2013 15:40
Team may change again
In a dramatic about turn Free State Cheetahs prop Schalk van der Merwe has been cleared to resume playing.
This follows a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
Van der Merwe received a red card in the 74th minute of the Cheetahs' Currie Cup match last Saturday, for allegedly lifting Blue Bulls fullback Jurgen Visser, twisting him and failing to bring him to ground safely, which contravened Law 10.4 (j).
Donny Jacobs, who presided over the case due to the unavailability of André Oosthuizen, ruled that the imposition of a further penalty was not necessary - on the basis that it could not be proved on a balance of probabilities that Visser was lifted and twisted in the tackle.
As a result Van der Merwe was cleared to play.
The Judicial Officer was initially expected to make his decision on Thursday, but announced his finding earlier due to the time constraints ahead of the team's Currie Cup semifinal against the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday.
However, earlier in the day - in anticipation of the player possibly being banned - the Cheetahs named Rossouw de Klerk in Van der Merwe's place on the bench.
It is not clear if they will now change their team again.
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