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Castres lock Ryno Pieterse picks up lengthy ban for horror tackle

Ryno Pieterse

Castres lock Ryno Pieterse has been banned for 12 weeks after his late tackle on Bordeaux Begles’ Maxime Lucu during the sides’ Top 14 encounter.

23-year-old South African Pieterse was shown a red card for his challenge on Lucu, which he jumped into long after the Bordeaux player had gotten ride of the ball.

The hit sparked outrage in the rugby community, with even former international referee Nigel Owens calling for the Castres player to be given a lengthy ban for the incident.

“I never get involved in citings or length of ban conversations. But this was as obvious a red card you will see and well done Romain [Poite], no TMO lengthy conversations. But it has to now be followed by a very, very lengthy ban,” Owens tweeted.

LNR statement on the 12-week ban.

The Ligue Nationale de Rugby, which runs both the Top 14 and Pro D2, released a statement explaining that the ban was brought down from 24 to 12 weeks due to several mitigating circumstances.

“Given the elements of the case and the high level of danger of the action, the disciplinary and rules commission decided to set the entry point for the sanction at 24 weeks — a higher level than the disciplinary scale of the NRL,” the statement reads.

“After taking into account the mitigating circumstances (clean disciplinary record, youth and inexperience, acknowledgement of guilt, expression of remorse, conduct before and during the hearing), the sanction was reduced by 12 weeks.

“Consequently, Pieterse is suspended for 12 weeks.”

Ryno Pieterse apologised for his tackle after the game.

Pieterse took to Instagram to apologise for his tackle on Lucu the day after the match, and wished the Bordeaux player well for the rest of the season.

“I would like to apologise to Maxime Lucu for my gesture. I did not control my tackle and I am sincerely sorry. Like I told you after the match, I am very happy that you are okay Maxime. Good luck for the rest of the season,” Pieterse wrote.

Lucu, who looked to be in a considerable amount of pain directly after the late hit, also took to social media the evening of the game to insist that he was uninjured and “still standing”.

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