Munier Hartzenberg Suspended


The Toyota Cheetahs wing, Munier Hartzenberg, has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s EPCR Challenge Cup, Round 4 match against Oyonnax Rugby at Stade Charles-Mathon.

Hartzenberg was sent off by the referee, Anthony Woodthorpe (England), in the 19th minute of the match for tackling the Oyonnax Rugby full-back, Maxime Salles, in the air in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.17 which stipulates that a player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.17 carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-range: 8 weeks; Top end: 12 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Roddy MacLeod (Scotland), Chair, Martyn Wood (England) and Chris Morgan (Wales) studied video imagery of the incident and heard evidence from Hartzenberg who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card.

The committee also heard submissions from the player’s legal representative, Attie Heyns, from the Toyota Cheetahs Team Manager, Ashwell Rafferty, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee upheld the red card decision finding that Hartzenberg had tackled Salles in the air in a dangerous manner and it determined that the offending was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Taking into account his acceptance that his actions amounted to foul play and his clear disciplinary record, the committee decided to reduce the sanction by a maximum of 50% before imposing a two-week suspension.

As Hartzenberg would have been considered for selection for the Toyota Cheetahs’ SA Cup matches against Boland on 23 March and against the Leopards on 30 March, he is free to play on Monday, 1 April.