20 May 2019, Monday | 08:00pm

Springbok Brits gets four-week ban for punch-up


JOHANNESBURG: Northern Bulls and Springboks hooker Schalk Brits was banned for four weeks on Tuesday after a punch-up in last weekend’s Super Rugby win against the Coastal Sharks.

Brits will be out until early May, missing four games, after his scrap with Sharks counterpart Akker van der Merwe, who instigated the fight but received only a three-week ban on Monday.

Brits escaped the maximum penalty of six weeks because he showed remorse, pleaded guilty and was acting in self-defence, a SANZAAR judicial committee hearing said.

But he couldn’t receive the full 50% discount for the sanction, like van der Merwe, because he has been suspended twice before for striking.

Both players were red-carded when van der Merwe leapt on Brits, pinning him down and exchanging punches, at around the hour-mark of the Bulls’ narrow 19-16 win on Saturday. — AFP

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