Two-week ban for Zas after red card

Stormers winger Leolin Zas has been suspended for two weeks following his red card for tackling a player in the air last weekend.

The SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC accepted a guilty plea from Zas for contravening Law 10.4 (i) – Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an Opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play – after he was red carded.

Zas made contact with Waratahs fly-half Bernard Foley who was in the air attempting to catch a ball during the match between the Stormers and Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday.

Zas has been suspended from all forms of the game for two weeks up to and including Saturday, May 14.

SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC assessed the case. In his finding, Hampton ruled the following: "Leolin Zas (the player) and his representatives appeared before me and admitted a breach of the Law 10.4(I) charge.

"I found it was a lower end offence on the basis that the video footage showed the player's right foot slipping as he was readying to compete for the ball in the air. This resulted in him moving on through and under the opposing player, causing that player to fall dangerously to the ground. Fortunately the opposing player was uninjured. 

"The low end entry point for the sanction was a three-week suspension. There were no aggravating factors.

"As to mitigation, I took into account the player's youth and his early guilty plea, as well as his already expressed apology and his contrition.

"I allowed a reduction of one week, making a suspension from all rugby of two weeks, up to and including Saturday, May 14."

"The Stormers have a bye next weekend. I was provided written evidence that the player would have been chosen to play for Western Province in a Currie Cup match against the Natal Sharks that forthcoming weekend. So that match should be, and is, taken into account as a match which he will be unable to play in. In addition, he will be ineligible to play in the Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves on May 14."