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Bulls’ Steyn banned for three weeks for dangerous tackle

Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn will miss his team’s next three games after he was given a three-week penalty after a red card in the United Rugby Championship game against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, February 12.

The 37-year-old pivot was shown the red card in the 11e minute from the South African derby for a dangerous tackle on Sharks center and captain Lukhanyo Am.

The decision to penalize Steyn means the veteran No. 10 will not be part of the Bulls team that will travel to Italy, where they will face Zebre Parma on Friday.

A disciplinary committee met on Thursday, February 17, to discuss the incident deemed a violation of Law 9.13, which states: “A player must not tackle an opponent too early, too late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the shoulder line, even if the tackle begins below the shoulder line.”

According to a statement from the United Rugby Championship, the disciplinary panel of Jennifer Donovan (Chairman, Ireland), Rose Alice Murphy (Ireland) and Tony Wheat (Ireland) considered all available evidence and concluded that the referee’s decision to red card was correct and thus maintained the red card.

The panel carefully considered the evidence and determined that there was a high level of danger, that the action was rapid with contact to the neck and jaw area, with insufficient mitigation to reduce the level of sanctions.

The panel determined that the entry point was mediocre, with a six (6) week suspension. [Steyn] did accept that he had committed a crime, but did not accept that it warranted a red card.

The panel considered the [Steyn’s] previous record and admission to a late and high tackle, and determined that this would reduce the penalty by three (3) weeks.

Steyn will be available again from Sunday 13 March. He will miss the URC match against Zebre Parma, the Currie Cup match against Griquas (Saturday 5 March 2022) and the URC match against Munster (Saturday 12 March 2022).

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