The Sharks No 8 Ryan Kankowski has been suspended from all forms of rugby for one week after he was found guilty of foul play during Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup game against the Xerox Lions in Johannesburg.
Kankowski was cited under Law 10.4 (b) for stamping on an opponent. The Sharks loose forward used his right foot in a stamping action on the body (stomach area) of the Xerox Lions flank Trevor Hall during the 75th minute of the game. The Johannesburg side defeated The Sharks 22-20.
Referee Jason Jaftha penalised Kankowski with a yellow card after the incident was flagged by the Assistant Referee Christie du Preez who recommended a yellow card.
A telephonic SARU judicial hearing was held on Wednesday which was chaired by Advocate Rob Stelzner.
Kankowski pleaded not guilty. His defence argued that he was in the process of falling backwards which forced him to lift one leg to regain his balance and that resulted in him placing his foot on his opponent as he regained his balance. It was also argued that The Sharks No 8 did not have the benefit of being able to stop during the incident to regain his balance and ensure that his foot was placed away from his opponent.
Stelzner, after considering all relevant facts and available video evidence, recommended a suspension of two weeks. He however reduced the recommended sanction to one week after ruling that Kankowski’s action was impulsive rather than reckless. He added that the act was retaliatory and was not done with malice or forethought.
As a result Kankowski was suspended for one game. He has the right to appeal.
Issued by SARU Communications