Kurt-Lee Arendse has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 17 September 2022 following the incident with Beauden Barrett, which saw the Bok wing accidentally take out the All Blacks star while he was jumping to catch a contestable kick.
The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the clash between the Springboks and All Blacks at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, with Barrett falling awkwardly on his head and neck as he came crashing back down to the ground.
Barrett was ultimately able to walk away without any serious injury, but will need to pass a fitness Test ahead of this Saturday’s rematch.
“It was quite a big collision and I did think the worst instantly; especially when I was on the ground and – I can’t remember who it was – told me to stay still,” Barrett told New Zealand’s media manager, as quoted by RTE.
“It wasn’t until (the doctor) came on and asked me ‘can you move your fingers? Your toes?’ – I was relieved to have passed those tests. I eventually sat up and was able to walk off and get on with it.
“But there was a fearful period there for a minute or so where you do think of the worst. It’s quite scary when you go over backwards and you find yourself come down on your head and shoulders.
“It’s part of the game; I understand that. Every time we go up for a high ball we’ve got to be courageous. Sometimes the chasers don’t get it right. They have intentions to get up but find themselves running into the person, which happened in the weekend.”
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Responding to a clip of Barrett commenting on the incident, Erasmus suggested that the All Blacks flyhalf was “spot on” with his assessment.
“An area of the game that requires courage and technique, and as you say injuries are part of the contest. We hope you get well soon and recover from this traumatic experience,” Erasmus wrote.
The response from Rassie comes in a week where there is a feeling that the All Blacks are looking to subtly put pressure on officials to take a stringent approach when adjudicating the Boks’ aerial kick-chase game.
After reviewing the incident involving Barrett, the Boks’ Arendse could have faced an eight-week ban
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Michael Heron QC (Chairman), Stefan Terblanche and John Langford assessed the case.
In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Michael Heron QC 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, Attie Heyns, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the red card under Law 9.17.”
“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee considered the act of foul play was reckless, highly dangerous and had a considerable impact on the victim player. 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.”
“The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including 17 September 2022.”
All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the Foul Play Review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee.