Griquas lock Rory Arnold (with the nickname “Big Dog”) has been suspended from all rugby for seven matches for biting Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke in Bloemfontein.
The Australian lock received a red card for the offence moments after scoring a try in the 62nd minute of the match against the Cheetahs last Saturday, after Reynecke complained to the match referee, who referred the matter to the TMO before sending off Arnold.
Arnold pleaded not guilty to the charge and in his defence said that the downward pressure on his head, while trying to cross the try-line with his mouth open, had caused the marks on the arm of the Cheetahs player.
In his findings judicial officer Peter Ingwersen found the victim’s initial reaction was instructive due to his spontaneous response to withdraw his arm, complain to the assistant referee and then report the matter to the referee.
According to Ingwersen, Arnold was found guilty and sanctioned “on the balance of probabilities and relying particularly on the victim’s immediate and spontaneous reactions and the doctor’s evidence.”
He has been suspended until October 19, which means that he will only be available for the Currie Cup Final should Griquas qualify.
According to SARU the player has appealed the decision.