Hendrikse escapes long-term ban for elbow strike

Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse has been handed a short-term ban for his red card against the British & Irish Lions this past Saturday.

Hendrikse was sent off in the second half of the Sharks’ loss to the Lions at Ellis Park after a TMO review showed him striking fullback Liam Williams with his elbow after a tackle.

The 21-year-old subsequently appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link as he was cited under Law 9.12 (dangerous play).

The independent disciplinary committee chaired by Stephen Hardy (Australia), joined by former internationals John Langford (Australia) and David Croft (Australia), heard the case and were presented with all available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representatives.

Having reviewed all the available evidence, the committeee deemed Hendrikse had breached Law 9.12 in that he had physically struck Williams with his elbow, connecting with Williams’ head and neck area.

Given that the contact was around Williams’ head and neck, Hendrikse was handed World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play. This resulted in a starting point of a six-match suspension.

However, Hendrikse admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Given his clear and genuine remorse, early acknowledgment of culpability, apology given directly to both Williams and the referee and exemplary disciplinary record to date, the committee reduced the six-match entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks being imposed.

This means that Hendrikse will miss the Sharks’ next three Currie Cup matches, against the Pumas (16 July), Bulls (21 July) and Cheetahs (24 July). He does have the right of appeal within 48 hours.

Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack