EDINBURGH’S suffering at the hands of Munster on Sunday may have longer term repercussions after flanker Cornell du Preez was cited for the incident that led to him receiving a yellow card.
The South African, one of Edinburgh’s leading performers in recent games, was sin-binned in the final act of the first half, with the score 12-6 to Munster. Neither match referee Wayne Barnes nor his assistant, who was just yards away, appeared to see anything wrong with du Preez’ drive into the ruck. However, there was a mighty roar of disapproval from the Munster support and home skipper Peter O’Mahony urged Barnes to go the television match official for a video replay of the incident.
Barnes agreed and was told by the TMO, Sean Davey, the recently-retired English referee, that du Preez’ action was reckless. The flanker dived into a ruck in a clear effort to shift Paul O’Connell off the ball, the Irish lock sitting at the heart of the ruck and preventing the ball’s release at the time.
Munster took a grip of the game immediately after half-time, scoring a third try, and there was no way back for Edinburgh as Munster ran in six tries in all for a 38-6 Heineken Cup win that secured them a home quarter-final against Toulouse.
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons insisted he would like another look at du Preez’ yellow card before considering whether to complain to the ERC. However, the ERC reported last night that du Preez had been cited by French citing commissioner Yves Thieffine and would now face a disciplinary hearing.
The ERC statement read: “Du Preez is alleged to have struck the Munster Rugby second row, Paul O’Connell (No 5), during the first half of the Pool 6 match at Thomond Park. Du Preez was shown a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes (England) arising from the incident. Jeremy Summers (England) has been appointed as the independent Judicial Officer for the hearing which will take place in Dublin on Thursday, 23 January.”
Du Preez is accused of striking with either his head, arm or shoulder and if found guilty is likely to face a suspension of between four and ten weeks, with potential reductions for admitting guilt and previous record.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s Sean Kennedy has joined London Irish for one month.