Lions prop CJ van der Linde has been found not guilty of biting Force lock Toby Lynn in the Lions loss to the Force on Saturday in Perth.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing found van der Linde not guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
The incident occurred in the 10th minute of the match between the Force and Lions on 26th May at NIB Stadium in Perth.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held before Judicial Officer Paul Tully via video conference on 29th and 30th May having concluded at 6pm AEST, 10am SA and 8pm NZ. Stephan Weyers appeared as counsel on behalf of CJ van der Linde.
In his finding, Mr Tully ruled the for the citing to be upheld on such a serious breach of the laws of the game, it is necessary that there be a deliberate decision on the part of the cited player to bite."
"The cited player whilst leaning over a player on the ground was held around the mouth in the forearm of a Force player. He was pulled back. It was during this motion that the Force player's forearm came into contact with the cited player's mouth. The cited player denied biting."
"He conceded that there were red marks on the forearm of the Force player consistent with what might have been made by teeth. The finding of the judicial officer is such that he accepted the cited player's evidence that there was no deliberate intention to bite and that the marks were more consistent with a forearm being used in a levering type motion.
"The matter was minor. The mark had resolved within twenty minutes of the incident."