SANZAR will act against players who abuse cards

Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters has warned that if players try to use the new white card system frivolously or to harass their opposition they will be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

Peters was commenting after the SANZAR citing commissioner could find no evidence of wrongdoing by the Crusaders after two Bulls players reported cases of eye gouging to the match referee.

Bulls forwards Chiliboy Ralepelle and Flip van der Merwe told referee Jaco Peyper they had been eye-gouged on either side of half time and Peyper white carded the incidents.

The white card system referred the incidents to a Sanzar citing officer in South Africa after the game but he decided there was no evidence and no case to answer.

Peter said that the citing commissioner had viewed the incidents from several camera angles and even some which had not seen by television viewers and the official decided there was no case to answer.

“The citing commissioner has reviewed it and after that review there was nothing in the video footage that would point to the allegation being substantiated, and the citing commissioner also found it interesting that the Bulls did not follow through with a complaint within the four-hour window after the game,” Peters told the NZHerald.

When Peters was asked whether it was too easy for players to make allegations which later proved to have no basis, he said: “If we thought they were making them on a vexatious basis then we would certainly be asking some questions, but in the heat of the battle it’s hard for a player to always know exactly what’s happened and that’s the purpose of the white card.”

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said before the citing commissioner had been given a chance to view the evidence that he would expect an apology from the Bulls if the accusations proved to be incorrect.

“I am personally really bemused by it, an allegation is an allegation,” said Blackadder.

“The first one with Chiliboy, you would expect that the player would come out of the breakdown holding his eye, but he certainly didn’t. “

“I wonder whether it was a negative ploy,” added Blackadder.

Blackadder said that even though the citing commissioner had found nothing the situation had besmirched the Crusaders players’ reputations.

Crusaders captain Kieran Read and said that he was not happy at all with the allegations adding that it was like a “kick in the guts.”

“Initially I was really surprised at the allegations,” said Read to the NZHerald.

“It has now come out that there’s no case to answer. “

“It’s a kick in the guts to us because we’re men of integrity and it’s no surprise that it’s turned out the way it has.”

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