Esterhuizen suspended for six weeks
UPDATE: Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen has been suspended for six weeks for dangerous play during his team's 9-all with the Melbourne Rebels.
A SANZAAR Judicial Committee Hearing has found Esterhuizen guilty of contravening Law 10.4(j) Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground, after he was issued with a red card during the Super Rugby match at the weekend.
The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the match played at Kings Park in Durban.
The SANZAAR Judicial Hearing held via video conference on Monday was heard by Michael Heron (Chairman), De Wet Barry and John Langford.
In his finding, the Judicial Committee Chairman Heron ruled the following: "Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Thembelani Mayosi, the Judicial Committee accepted a guilty plea from the player in respect of Law 10.4(j)."
"With respect to sanction, the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul merited a mid-range entry point of 10 weeks. It was deemed to be reckless in nature and placed the opposing player in an extremely dangerous position."
"In regards to aggravating factors, it was noted that the player was suspended for a similar offence in 2015 and subsequently one week was added to the suspension period. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player's excellent conduct throughout the Judicial process, his on-field apology to the opposing player, his remorse and his early guilty plea, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to six weeks."
"The player is therefore suspended for six weeks."