Jaguares hooker Santiago Socino has been handed a three-week ban following an incident in the recently concluded Super Rugby encounter against Sharks played at Jonsson Kings Park last weekend.
The 27-year-old, who came in the 54th minute during the game was cited for an alleged stamp on the head of Sharks hooker Craig Burden in the added minutes but the incident was missed by the on-field official.
The Argentina international appeared before a Sanzaar foul-play review committee and was proved guilty of breaching Law 9.12 that deals with "A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes but is not limited to: Stamping or Trampling" and as a result was handed a six-week ban that was reduced by 50% taking into consideration the guilty plea and other mitigating factors.
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Citing under Law 9.12," read a statement from committee chair Adam Casselden.
"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.
"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's clean judicial record and the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks."
"The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including Saturday 4 April 2020. This sanction covers the Players next three scheduled matches and also incorporates the scheduled bye weekend for the Jaguares in round nine."
Jaguares are positioned third in South African Conference with three wins from six games.