Springboks winger Kurt-Lee Arendse has been suspended for four weeks after being sent off in his side's 26-10 win over the All Blacks on Saturday.
Arendse pleaded guilty to the challenge in front of a review committee of Sanzaar (the body which oversees the Rugby Championship) and will now be out of action until mid-September.
Arendse saw red after a dangerous tackle on Beauden Barrett in the 74th minute in which Barrett was taken out in the air.
An eight-week ban was originally advised but that was reduced to four-weeks due to a few mitigating factors. Here's how the disciplinary committee explained their ruling:
The Committee accepted it was not deliberate and after considering all relevant factors decided the foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 8 weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s clean judicial record and his acceptance of guilt at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 4 weeks.
Kurt-Lee Arendse gave referee easy decision to make
The All Blacks fly-half left the field after the challenge but suffered no major injury problems. Both players were still down receiving treatment when Australian referee Angus Gardner brandished the red card.
It was an easy decision for Gardner who quickly realised how dangerous the tackle was.
“Number 14 (Arendse) is never in a realistic position to contest," he said.
He has taken out the number 10 (Barrett) in the air. Number 10 has landed dangerously. It’s a red card.”
After the game New Zealand's under fire boss Ian Foster criticised the Springboks approach in the air during the game and called for action to be taken. A similar incident in the tenth minute where Jordie Barrett was taken out by Arendse was also subject to criticism from Foster.
”(I’ve got) massive concerns,” said Foster.
“It's probably the worst I've seen. It was pretty disappointing because it happened in the 10th minute as well and they deemed it was fair.
Part of the problem in the game is in the lineout if you throw a jumper over to their side with an arm up, it’s considered obstruction, whereas it’s becoming a free-for-all for jumpers just to be able to jump and stick a hand out and say they’re competing. It needs to be addressed.
“It is (a big part of their game) and it becomes a little bit easier if there is a wide interpretation of what you can do underneath it. We’ve got to look at our responsibilities in the air and how we catch because it’s obvious its coming. At the same time we expect more protection than we got last night.”
Pressure continues to mount on Foster following Saturday's defeat. The All Blacks today dropped to fifth in the world rankings, their lowest position ever.
The sides will meet again this coming Saturday in Johannesburg.