Sharks number 9 Jaden Hendrikse has been given a three-week suspension for elbowing Liam Williams during their game against the British and Irish Lions.
DURBAN – Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse has escaped reasonably lightly for his foul play offence against British & Irish Lions fullback Liam Williams, receiving a three-week suspension from all rugby.
The 21-year-old was sent off five minutes into the second half of the Sharks’ match against the Lions last week after deliberately elbowing Williams in the head as the pair sank to the ground in a tackle.
Hendrikse has appeared before an online independent judicial committee chaired by Stephen Hardy (Australia), plus former international players John Langford (Australia) and David Croft (Australia).
Having reviewed all the available evidence, the committee deemed Hendrikse had breached Law 9.12 in that he had physically struck Williams with his elbow, connecting with Williams’ head and neck area.
Given that the contact was around Williams’ head and neck, Hendrikse was handed World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play. This resulted in a starting point of a six-match suspension.
However, Hendrikse admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Given his clear and genuine remorse, early acknowledgment of culpability, an apology given directly to both Williams and the referee and his exemplary disciplinary record to date, the committee reduced the six-match entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks.
This means that Hendrikse will miss the Sharks’ next three Currie Cup matches, against the Pumas (July 16), Bulls (July 21) and Cheetahs (July 24).