Sharks flank Deysel suspended for seven weeks

Sharks flanker Jean Deysel has been suspended for seven weeks by a SANZAR Judicial hearing for kneeing Matt Todd in the head.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC accepted a guilty plea from Jean Deysel of the Sharks for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was sent off following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Deysel has been suspended from all forms of the game for seven weeks up to and including Saturday 23 May 2015.

The incident occurred in the 42nd minute of the match between the Sharks and Crusaders played at Kings Park in Durban on 4 April 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case and and ruled that, “Video footage provided clear evidence that Jean Deysel was engaged at the breakdown when he jumped up then brought his right knee down on the side of Matt Todd’s head while he lay on the ground.

“While Todd was fortunately not injured, the act carried real potential for injury and Todd was in a vulnerable position. The breach of Law 10.4 (a) required a mid-range entry point which carries an eight-week suspension.

“I added an additional week for Deysel’s recent offending as an aggravating factor. He was suspended for three weeks for foul play last Super Rugby season. I then addressed mitigating personal circumstances and the discount available for an admitted breach, not that there was any defence for his actions.

“Deysel, to his credit, did not seek to minimise his actions. He said he was deeply ashamed and that his actions were against everything he stands for, despite his earlier breaches. He could only refer to his emotional and irrational response when frustrated at the breakdown, and he asked himself why he acted in such an extreme manner.

“After my preliminary considerations, I was advised of an off-field mitigating circumstance which may in rare circumstances be brought to account under Regulation 17. In this case, there are truly exceptional circumstances associated with the health of his immediate family which must bear on his state of mind, and go some way to explain his irrational actions. This is not an excuse but a basis to exercise some small leniency in the sanction applied.

“A discount was applied due to these mitigating factors. I took into account that the Sharks have a bye in Round 11, in effect making this a six-match sanction. Therefore, the player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday 23 May 2015.”

All SANZAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a Duty Judicial Officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.

Duty Judicial Officer: Nicholas Davidson QC
Player: Jean Deysel
Team: Sharks
Position: Flanker
Date of Incident: 4 April 2015
Nature of Offence: Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s)
Elapsed time in match when offence occurred: 42nd minute (in the first half).

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