Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Sale Sharks) and Bryce Heem (Worcester Warriors) appeared before an independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday.
Both players were cited following the match between Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks on Saturday 13th April.
The Shark’s centre was alleged to have struck Francois Hougaard in the first half of the match contrary to Law 9.12. Bryce Heem was cited for an alleged tip tackle on Paolo Odogwu in the second half of the match contrary to Law 9.18.
Van Rensburg accepted the charge and was given a one-week suspension by the independent panel comprising of Matthew Weaver (chair), Mitchell Read and Guy Lovgreen. He is free to play again on 23 April 2019.
Heem contested the charge but was given a four-week suspension by the same panel. His return to play date is to be confirmed due to only three regular season games remaining.
Regarding the van Rensburg decision, Matthew Weaver, panel chair said: “The player accepted that he had made contact with the throat of the Worcester player and this action passed the red card threshold.
"The panel were satisfied that the actions were reckless and not deliberate having heard evidence from both the player and from Steve Diamond. In the absence of significant injury to the Worcester player, the panel were satisfied that a low end entry point was appropriate and that he was entitled to full mitigation reducing the sanction to one week.”
Following the Heem hearing Weaver said: “The panel considered the video footage in detail, both at full speed and in freeze frame/slow motion. The player gave honest evidence as to his intent in making the tackle and his actions that followed.
"Having considered all of the evidence available, the panel were satisfied that he had lifted the Sale Sharks player in the tackle, that he had dropped him rather than bringing him to ground in a controlled manner and that the point of contact with the ground was the Sale player’s shoulder. This was confirmed by the medical evidence received and the evidence of the Sale Sharks player himself. The red card threshold was therefore met.
“The panel had the benefit of watching the footage in detail and on a number of occasions together with a detailed explanation from the player and confirmation from the Sale Sharks player as to precisely where he landed. This is in stark contrast to the time and evidence available on-field to the match official team.
“The player did not accept the charge but was entitled to mitigation by way of his remorse, his exceptional conduct in the hearing and his off-field community engagement programmes.”
Via: England Rugby