South African Rugby
Red card struck from Du Plessis' record
ESPN Staff
September 16, 2013
Bismarck du Plessis floors Dan Carter, but it was a legal tackle © Getty Images

South Africa hooker Bismarck du Plessis has had the red card he picked up against New Zealand on Saturday struck from his record.

Du Plessis was handed two yellow cards by referee Romain Poite though it was the first which prompted a huge backlash against the French official. He was sin-binned for what was deemed to be an illegal tackle on New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter but replays showed his technique was sound.

The incident was referred to the Television Match Official George Ayoub but he failed to provide Poite with sufficient evidence to sway his opinion of what he saw as a dangerous tackle and the hooker was subsequently sin-binned.

Du Plessis returned to the action and crossed for a try but his game was brought to an abrupt halt when he was rightly handed a second yellow card - and therefore a red - for an elbow to the throat of New Zealand flanker Liam Messam as he charged into the All Blacks' defence in the opening moments of the second half.

The International Rugby Board has since released a statement saying Poite's decision to sin-bin Du Plessis for the tackle on Carter was "incorrect" and put it down to "human error".

Du Plessis will face no further punishment with SANZAR judicial officer Terry Willis deciding to remove the red card from the hooker's disciplinary record. Submissions were made to Willis via teleconference from the South African Rugby Union and footage was also viewed.

And according to the SARU: "The Judicial Officer found that the decision made by Referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card as a result of the tackle by du Plessis on Dan Carter was wrong, as it was within the Laws of the Game. No further sanction was imposed on the player, however the second yellow card remains on his record for the remainder of The Rugby Championship."

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