Whitelock hit with two-week ban for striking

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Sam Whitelock has been banned for a fortnight after the lock was charged with striking during Crusaders' Super Rugby win over Cheetahs on Saturday.

The New Zealand international was cited following a clash with Cheetahs front row Charles Marais in Crusaders' 48-21 triumph in Bloemfontein.

Whitelock was sent to the sin bin, but the offence was deemed to have warranted a red card by a SANZAAR Judicial Committee.

The 28-year-old caught Marais with his arm and will miss the matches against Bulls and Hurricanes.

The SANZAAR Judicial Committee stated: "Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the citing under Law 10.4(a) Striking another Player with the hand, arm or fist.
 
"With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of four weeks due to the World Rugby stipulation that a strike to the head shall result in at least a mid-range entry point sanction.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact that the player had an excellent disciplinary record including 110 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and 84 Test caps for the All Blacks, the Judicial Committee reduced the otherwise applicable sanction from four weeks to two weeks."