Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Bulls will be without center JP Nel for their crucial Super 14 Semi Final against the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld this weekend. Nel suspended for four weeks for this stiff arm tackle on Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche.
Nel and the Bulls have decided to appeal against the ban, which will take place in the form of a conference phonecall at 23:00 tonight, South African time.
The suspension leaves the Bulls in a slight injury pickle, as Nel was a key member of their backline and with Wynand Olivier still struggling with a hip injury, they might be a bit thin in that department against the might and experience of last years winners.
Nel was represented by the same team that helped to clear Bakkies Botha of any wrong doing, but they werent as fortunate this time around, as he has been suspended up to and including, June 13th for his tackle that was deemed dangerous.
He will effectively miss a maximum of two matches, the Semi and possibly the final, despite the judicial officer having said that he considered a longer sentence, but felt that missing those two big matches were punishment enough.
Nels track record of similar type hits with that heavily padded forearm probably influenced the decision. Its not the first time weve seen him tackle like that. Just ask Gio Aplon and Rocky Elsom.
Nel's appeal was rejected, so he will serve the suspension.
Do you feel four weeks is fair punishment, or was it merely a poorly judged hit?