PARIS, 12 September - Following a RWC 2007 judicial hearing the Judicial Officer (JO) Terry Willis upheld the citing complaint and determined that South Africa flanker Schalk Burger breached Law 10.4(e) and committed a dangerous tackle on Samoa scrum half Junior Polu during the South Africa v Samoa match on Sunday 9 September in Paris.
The player pleaded not guilty and alleged that contact occurred between the two players as he attempted to win possession. However, the JO determined that Burger executed a reckless and sloppy tackle that was high and dangerous whilst the opposing player was in the air and therefore in a vulnerable position.
The JO determined the offence to be at the mid range of seriousness. There were no aggravating circumstances. However, there were several mitigating factors including Burger's remorse in relation to the incident, his excellent conduct during the hearing and his good disciplinary record. During 34 Tests for South Africa, 42 Super 14 games and 22 Currie Cup games for his province he had never been before a disciplinary committee for such an offence.
The entry point for a mid range offence is six matches. However the JO decided in this case the suspension should be four matches in light of the mitigating factors.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.