Kings prop Scholtz banned for four weeks

ON SIDELINES: Kings prop Pieter Scholtz has been found guilty of foul play
ON SIDELINES: Kings prop Pieter Scholtz has been found guilty of foul play

Isuzu Southern Kings prop Pieter Scholtz has been banned for four weeks after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of foul play.

The banning is a huge blow for the Kings, who will now be without Scholtz for their home and away Guinness PRO14 fixtures against the Cheetahs (January 25 and February 1) and their away game against Munster (February 14).

He will also miss tomorrow’s warm-up friendly against the Stormers at Loerie Park in Knysna.

As he carried the ball, Scholtz led with a forearm to the throat of John Barclay and received his marching orders from referee Joy Neville in the 12th minute.

After watching several replays of the incident, Neville told Scholtz it was extremely dangerous play, before showing him a red card.

After the incident, Kings interim head coach Robbi Kempson said World Rugby bosses needed to have an urgent rethink on rules regarding tackle techniques.

“When we went down to 14 men I had absolutely no problem with the decision regarding Scholtz,” Kempson said.

“But I think World Rugby needs to look at the tackle technique, as opposed to the player who has the ball in his possession.”

A disciplinary panel convened in Neath, Wales, on Tuesday to consider the red-card decision against Scholtz resulting from the Kings’ fixture against Edinburgh on January 4.

Scholtz was dismissed under Law 9.11, which stipulates a player must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.

The panel, comprising Rhian Williams (chair), Simon Thomas and Nigel Williams (all Wales) concluded that there was an act of foul play which merited a mid-range entry point due to contact with the neck/head area of his opponent.

The player’s previous record and behaviour during the process were considered and mitigation of 40% was applied.

As a result, Scholtz was banned for four weeks and is free to play from midnight on February 16.