Blues wing Matt Duffie has escaped further sanction for his red card in his team's 30-22 defeat to the Stormers in Cape Town.

Duffie's case was heard by video hearing, and, surprisingly, he pleaded guilty to both technical offences - the first for being offside at a ruck following a team warning, and the second a tackle on the already prone Cheslin Kolbe. Most observers believe neither card was necessary, and that the Blues were unfairly punished in playing the final 25 minutes without him.

Adding insult to injury for them was the fact Shaun Treeby was only penalised for his high tackle which knocked out Blues No10 Piers Francis. Treeby was subsequently cited and has been banned for three weeks, but even that sanction could be considered light given Crusaders skipper Sam Whitelock was banned for two weeks for a light elbow tap on an opponent's cheek at Port Elizabeth, for which his team was punished during the match when he was shown a yellow card.

Kiwi Treeby, who was extremely lucky not be red-carded following the Francis incident, which would have left his side playing with 14 men for the last 35 minutes, will miss the Stormers' matches against the Sharks, Cheetahs and Sunwolves.


Nigel Hampton, Sanzaar's foul play review committee chairman, noted in his finding: "With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player's excellent judicial record over a long professional career and his early guilty plea the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks."