Chiefs’ Lauaki and Lions’ Stoltz banned

Chiefs No 8 Sione Lauaki has been suspended for two weeks while Lions lock Willem Stoltz has been suspended for one week after both players were found guilty after being cited for foul play following Friday’s Super 14 rugby match between the teams at Coca-Cola Park.

The Chiefs won the match 72-65.

The players appeared before SANZAR judicial committees which were chaired by advocate Jannie Lubbe in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Lauaki was cited for lifting Lions centre Deon van Rensburg in a tackle in the 13th minute of the first half and not lowering the player safely back to the ground. Lauaki received a yellow card from referee Marius Jonker for the offence.

The Chiefs No 8 pleaded guilty to the charge. His defence argued the yellow card issued by the referee was sufficient punishment.

Lubbe, after considering all relevant facts and available video evidence on a balance of probabilities, deemed the referee’s decision was wrong. As a result Lauaki was suspended from all forms of rugby from February 19 to March 6.

Meanwhile Stoltz was cited for striking Chiefs hooker Aled de Malmanche in the face area with his elbow in the ninth minute. Stoltz was penalised and warned by the referee. The Lions lock pleaded guilty to his charge. His defence also argued the actions of the referee were sufficient punishment.

Lubbe, after viewing the available video evidence and after taking into account the relevant facts on a balance of probabilities ruled that the referee should have issued a sterner reprimand.

As a result Stoltz was suspended from all forms of rugby from February 19 to 27.

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