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So'oialo escapes ban for testicles grab
ESPN Staff
June 23, 2013

Samoa fullback James So'oialo has been cleared of grabbing the testicles of South Africa hooker Adriaan Strauss during their clash in Pretoria on Saturday.

So'oialo was charged with committing 'an act contrary to good sportsmanship' during the second half of his side's 56-23 defeat in the final of the quadrangular tournament that also features Scotland and Italy. However, Judicial Officer, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett (RFU), decided that the contact was accidental and dismissed the citing.

"If I am to uphold this citing I must conclude that the Player has lied to me. My assessment of the Player is that he is honest: he immediately accepted that he had grabbed an opponent's testicles - he did not attempt to dispute that fact - and he said that there is no room in the game for insidious acts. Further there was no attempt to weaken the evidence given by Strauss who himself accepted that there was probably no malicious intention.

"In those circumstances I determine on the balance of probabilities that the Player did not intend to squeeze Strauss's testicles, nor were his actions reckless. In the dynamic situation of a ruck in which he was attempting to clear out an opponent he attempted to grab hold of his shorts and accidentally grabbed his testicles."

In related news, Samoa winger Alesana Tuilagi was suspended for two weeks after receiving a red card in the match for a dangerous tackle on Springbok centre Jean de Villiers.

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