Super Rugby
Crusaders cleared over eye-gouge claim
ESPNscrum Staff
April 9, 2012
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder chats to the press, Crusaders press conference, Cullinan Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa, June 30, 2011
Tood Blackadder maintained his player's innocence throughout © Getty Images

The Crusaders have had allegations of eye gouging thrown out by a citing commissioner after the claims could not be substantiated.

Bulls forwards Chiliboy Ralepelle and Flip van der Merwe levelled the charges against the Kiwi franchise after their Super Rugby clash in Pretoria on Saturday, but SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters said the commissioner had reviewed the match and found there was no case to answer.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder believes an apology is now in order from the Bulls, saying: "The citing commissioner has reviewed it and after that review there was nothing in the video footage that would point to the allegation being substantiated. The citing commissioner also found it interesting that the Bulls did not follow through with a complaint within the four-hour window after the game."

Blackadder said that, upon review, it was clear that his players had no case to answer.

"The first one with Chiliboy, you would expect that the player would come out of the breakdown holding his eye, but he certainly didn't. I wonder whether it was a negative ploy," he said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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