The Mpumalanga Rugby Union regards an incident that occurred on Saturday, 20 May 2017 whereby an underage rugby player charged a referee with his shoulder, in a very serious light.
The player was called to a disciplinary hearing on Monday, 29 May 2017, following the much-publicized incident that occurred during the match between Middelburg THS and Nelspruit High School in Middelburg.
The player was charged under Law10.4 (m) & (s), in that he shoulder charged the referee with the intention to cause injury. He pleaded guilty and apologised in writing for his actions.
He was subsequently found guilty on the charge and following some mitigating factors presented on his behalf, he was sanctioned with a 12-week ban, in which time he will not be allowed to part take in any rugby match. He will only be eligible to play rugby on 11 August 2017 again.
Roelof Kotze from the Mpumalanga Rugby Union said as a union, they believe there is no place for these actions in or near Rugby in Mpumalanga.
“Schoolboy discipline is normally left to the Mpumalanga High Schools Association to deal with but where our match officials are involved, as was this case, we will step in and discipline the players. Incidents like these reflect poorly on rugby and World Rugby’s stated core values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect,” said Kotze.
CEO of Mpumalanga Rugby, Pieter Burger said that examples set by adults on the club level and professional level are key to stemming this unacceptable trend in the beloved sport.
“The Mpumalanga Rugby Union views these transgressions as very serious, and we will not stand idle whilst individuals tarnish the image of our beloved game,” said Burger.