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Ken Borland

Crusaders cleared of eye-gouging charges

Posted on April 23, 2012 by Ken

The Canterbury Crusaders have been cleared off all charges of eye-gouging by SuperRugby ruling body Sanzar following the issuing of two white cards against them after allegations made by the Northern Bulls in their match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Although there has been no official word from Sanzar, Bulls spokesman Ian Schwartz issued a statement on the franchise’s website on Monday saying “no evidence of eye-gouging was found by Sanzar’s judiciary system”.

According to the statement, no evidence was found by citing commissioner Freek Burger by analysing various video replays of the two incidents in which Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and lock Flip van der Merwe claimed they were fouled by the Crusaders.

Schwartz said there would be no apology by the Bulls, despite comments by Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder after the game that he expected an apology if the allegations were not proven.

“For them to suggest we must now apologise, just because there is no video evidence available, would mean we have lied. It is ridiculous to suggest that every time there is a citing and there is not enough evidence, the other team should apologise,” Schwartz said.

“The rules are clear and we applied them 100% correctly. We had the right to raise the matter with the referee and we accept the fact that there was no video evidence.

“I just want to say that our players’ integrity is just as important to us as the Crusaders’ players integrity is to them. I feel the players will not make unfounded accusations unless something has happened,” Schwartz added.

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