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Du Plessis red rescinded

South Africa hooker Bismarck du Plessis has had the red card he received in Saturday's 29-15 defeat by New Zealand struck from his disciplinary record.

Du Plessis was dismissed after being sent to the sin-bin in each half of the Rugby Championship showdown at Auckland's Eden Park, leaving the Springboks to play for 38 minutes with 14 men.

The first yellow card issued by referee Romain Poite was for a tackle on Dan Carter, who subsequently departed with a dislocated shoulder, and the second for striking Liam Messam with an elbow.

However, a disciplinary hearing held via teleconference on Monday morning cleared Du Plessis of any foul play for his challenge on Carter, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby has confirmed.

"Judicial officer Terry Willis found that the decision made by Romain Poite to issue a yellow card as a result of the tackle on Dan Carter was wrong as it was within the laws of the game," a SANZAR statement read.

"No further sanction has been imposed on the player. However the second yellow card remains on his record for the remainder of The Rugby Championship."

Several All Blacks took exception to the 16th minute hit on Carter and a large brawl erupted.

Poite referred the incident to the television match official and although replays subsequently demonstrated the tackle was fair, Du Plessis was still shown a yellow card that then had ramifications when he struck Messam later in the game.

The International Rugby reacted by admitting that Poite had made an error of judgement by showing the first yellow card.

"Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials," an IRB statement read.

"The officials, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law.

"All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future Test matches."


From Belfast Telegraph