Du Plessis red card struck from record
Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa (R) is yellow-carded by referee Romain Poite (L) during the Rugby Championship Test rugby union match between the New Zealand All Blacks and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on September 14, 2013.
Du Plessis received the red card after accumulating two yellows during the Rugby Championship Test in Auckland, won 29-15 by the All Blacks who enjoyed a one-man advantage for most of the second half.
But a judicial hearing late Monday conducted by SANZAR -- the South Africa, New Zealand and Australian body that runs the championship -- found French referee Romain Poite was wrong to issue one of the yellow cards.
The hearing was brought forward after originally being scheduled for Tuesday after the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board, issued a statement stating the referee was mistaken.
SANZAR judicial officer Terry Willis of Australia found the first yellow card was issued for a tackle on All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter that was "within the laws of the game".
However, the second yellow card for elbowing All Black Liam Messam in the throat will remain on du Plessis' record for the remainder of The Rugby Championship, he said.