Steyn cleared; Reinach returns home
Steyn cleared; Reinach returns homeSHARE
There was a mixed bag on the news front for the Sharks on Monday – with one player cleared to play and another returning home with injury.
It was confirmed that a SANZAR judicial hearing found Sharks centre Francois Steyn not guilty, he was cited for alleged foul play during their Super Rugby (29-37) loss to the Chiefs at the weekend.
The incident occurred in the 78th minute at a breakdown during the match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing, held via video conference on Monday, was heard by Jannie Lubbe – who was assisted by former professional player Adam Magro.
In his finding Lubbe ruled that the evidence of Steyn was supported by the video evidence.
"The incident happened right in front of the match referee, who awarded a penalty kick to the Sharks," Lubbe said in his finding.
"The legal representative of the Sharks, Gerrie Swart, made helpful submissions and took the judicial officer through the available video evidence to support the version of Steyn that he did not act in breach of Law 10.4 (h)."
Having carefully considered the available evidence and the submissions of Swart, Lubbe concluded that it was "not possible on the balance of probability" that Steyn acted in breach of Law 10.4 (h).
Magro concurred with the conclusion.
As a result the citing is dismissed.
* Meanwhile it was confirmed that scrumhalf Cobus Reinach flew home, after suffering an ankle injury when he intercepted a ball and was tackled as he sprinted towards the Chiefs' line.
He will be replaced by Tian Meyer.
There is some good news, with Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen and Willem Alberts all close to full fitness and a return.
"It’s good to have JP and Lwazi arriving back to give us that extra fire-power out wide," coach John Plumtree said from the team's base in New Zealand – where they are preparing for their next match, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
"But the midfield been decimated, so thankfully we have relief there with Frans found not-guilty," Plumtree added.
The coach said there were no other injury problems.