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Bismarck du Plessis off the hook as Poite admits yellow card mistake

The Springboks’ hooker had his red card rescinded by Rugby Championship officials today.

YouTube credit: NZAUTV8

BISMARCK DU PLESSIS’ controversial red card has been overturned, SANZAR confirmed today.

Referee Roman Poite was criticised by the IRB for showing the South African hooker a yellow card during the first half of Saturday’s defeat against New Zealand.

Du Plessis flattened Dan Carter in the 17th minute, sparking a mini-brawl in Eden Park and ruling the All Blacks’ star out for four to six weeks with a shoulder injury.

Du Plessis was later sent off for a second yellow but Rugby Championship bosses struck the red from the record on the grounds that the Carter challenge was perfectly legal.

After this morning’s hearing, held via teleconference, a SANZAR statement read: “The Judicial Officer [Australia's Terry Willis] 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.”

The IRB was quick to issue a statement yesterday, accepting that France’s Poite and his officials were in the wrong.

“Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law.”

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Niall Kelly

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