Bismarck du Plessis red card removed from records

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James Mortimer, IRB and SANZAR     17 Sep 2013     Getty Images

The hearing, scheduled before the IRB announcement, is part of the process followed by SANZAR for any player shown a red card.

SANZAR Judicial Officer Terry Willis from Australia removed the red card from the disciplinary record of du Plessis.

The South African hooker was issued with a red card after receiving two yellows during the match at the weekend between New Zealand and South Africa in The Investec Rugby Championship.

The yellow cards were issued in the 17th and 42nd minutes of the match.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held via teleconference on 16 September. Terry Willis granted an application made by Gerrie Swart who appeared on behalf of the player, for an expedited hearing. The hearing was originally fixed for the 17th of September. At the hearing, Terry Willis was assisted by former professional player David Croft from Australia.

Submissions were made on behalf of the player and the video footage was reviewed. The Judicial Officer found that the decision made by Referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card as a result of the tackle by du Plessis on Dan Carter was wrong (as per the IRB ruling), as it was within the Laws of the Game.

No further sanction was imposed on the player, however the second yellow card remains on his record for the remainder of The Rugby Championship.

Last night the IRB confirmed that it was incorrect for referee Poite to issue a yellow card.

The IRB statement continued: Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law. All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future Test matches.

Referee appointments and assessments are determined by the IRB for Test matches, only in Super Rugby is the review and appointments under the full governance of SANZAR.

Poite has no further appointments for the remainder of The Rugby Championship, and the IRB is still to confirm the selections for the upcoming November / December Test window.