Rugby: Argentina's Matera cleared of 'eye gouging'

Rugby: Argentina's Matera cleared of 'eye gouging'

JOHANNESBURG - Argentina forward Pablo Matera was found not guilty on Thursday of 'eye gouging' in a Rugby Championship match against South Africa, a SANZAR statement said.

Springbok Francois Louw accused fellow flanker Matera of the offence five minutes into the second half of the Mendoza Test won 22-17 by the visitors last Saturday.

The alleged incident went unnoticed by referee Steve Walsh and the Irish television match official (TMO) could find no evidence of 'eye gouging' during video replays.

Judicial officer Terry Willis, appointed by the Championship organisers to judge the complant, said he was not satisfied there was contact with the eyes or eye gouging.

The verdict frees Matera to be included in the Pumas squad to be announced later Thursday for Tests in New Zealand on September 7 and Australia one week later.

Another Argentine, No. 8 Leonardo Senatore, has been accused of biting by South African lock Eben Etzebeth and this case is also scheduled to be heard Thursday.

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