Barbarians too good for England XV


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


The Top 5 French Flair moments


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Japanese player loses ball over tryline

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bakkies Botha suspended for four weeks after dangerous clearout

Bakkies Botha suspended for four weeks after dangerous clearout

Bakkies Botha will take no further part in the Bulls Super 14 title aspirations as hes been suspended for four weeks for his dangerous clearout of wing Gio Aplon in the game between the Stormers and the Bulls on Saturday.

A lengthy disciplinary hearing took place both yesterday and today, resulting in the Bulls lock having to spend four weeks on the sideline, after only just returning from an injury layoff.

The incident took place in the opening minute of the game, and while he was penalised for entering the ruck from the side, referee Jonathan Kaplan felt no need to discipline him further at the time, despite warning him about leading with the head.

His charge into the ruck was deemed by citing commissioner Freek Burger, to have been illegal as he dangerously and recklessly entered a ruck without using his arms or grasping onto a player. He was suspended last year for a similar offence against the British & Irish Lions , although many felt it was harsh at the time.

He will miss the semi final against the Crusaders, and a possible final should they get through. Hell also miss the upcoming Tests against both Wales and France.

Botha was captaining the Bulls for the first time on Saturday, and while the game was expected to be a fiery affair, I dont think anyone could have predicted that hed manage to cause damage after just 24 seconds. Aplon played on though, and will be fit for this weekend.

Time: 01:58

Posted at 5:54 pm | 139 comments

Bakkies Botha suspended after injuring Adam Jones

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 139 comments

RD May 18, 2010 4:48 pm

Please keep the abuse (which I know is coming) to a minimal level. Anything that breaks the commenting guidelines will be removed.

Is four weeks a good call for this type of thing, or do you think more/less would be more appropriate?

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Chenny May 18, 2010 4:52 pm

Four weeks a bit harsh. He made an effort to clear out legally. It wasnt like he hit a guy in exposed ribs or back

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Hennie May 18, 2010 4:53 pm

Harsh IMO. All he did wrong to my knowledge is enter the ruck from the side. Rugby is really becoming a game for pussies.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 4:53 pm

I think it is appropriate, especially considering he's been cited for a similar clearance during the Lions tour.

Botha should know about getting penalised for this.

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nick May 18, 2010 4:54 pm

I think he diliberatly does that to people, did an identical thing to adam jones on lions tour.

Hes a dirty player anyway

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Carts7 May 18, 2010 4:58 pm

Whoof, thats how you clear out, not too legal I suppose but fair playo to the big man getting down there to smash the wee fella.

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George May 18, 2010 4:59 pm

Four weeks for that?!? I'm not from SA (I'm Australian) and therefore not naturally inclined to defend Botha, but I get the feeling he's being targeted because he has a reputation for cheap shots. I've seen players do worse at ruck time practically every game. Four weeks seems rather excessive, when more malicious acts, like what went on in the Reds game with Cowan appearing to go for the eyes, don't get sited at all. The penalty seemed punishment enough in this case if you ask me...

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 4:59 pm

i'm not his biggest fan, i do think he enjoys hurting people as a rule, but that one didn't seem premeditated and was more unfortunate with the clash of heads. i don't think he should have received a ban for it as he did not lead with an open shoulder, but the ref should have binned him for coming in from the side off his feet less than a minute into the game.

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Bradders May 18, 2010 5:00 pm

4 weeks might be a bit harsh - maybe 1 or 2 weeks but definately a ban.

He looked at where he was going to hit and saw the guys head there...steamed in all the same!

Hitting a guy with that much force with the top of your head on the side of his is as good as a punch!

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Bradders May 18, 2010 5:00 pm

4 weeks might be a bit harsh - maybe 1 or 2 weeks but definately a ban.

He looked at where he was going to hit and saw the guys head there...steamed in all the same!

Hitting a guy with that much force with the top of your head on the side of his is as good as a punch!

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Rana May 18, 2010 5:05 pm

He went in the side.

He wasn't bound, and his shoulders were below his hips.

He has a history of previous, similar offences.

IMHO Bakkies Botha has been shown to be a 'dirty' player, who deliberately seeks to injure opponents. As such, he should be receiving escalating punishments with each repeated offence.

2 weeks would be appropriate for a first offence, 4 weeks suits a repeat offender. Given BB's record, I would have given him 8 weeks.

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cheyanqui May 18, 2010 5:08 pm

"I'm not sure whether it was malicious or not"

Jonathan Kaplan should get nominated for the ZA equivalent of an Emmy, for Best Male Performance in a Comedy.

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cheyanqui May 18, 2010 5:09 pm

head-to-head contact is serious and dangerous for both players, and should be punished.

Cosidering BB has plenty of priors, a 4 week ban is not all that surprising.

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Ben May 18, 2010 5:10 pm

As Skinstad says in the commentary, it doesn't look good from the one angle. The fact of the matter is that he lead with the head, came from the side and played the opponent's head. It's definitely an illegal and dangerous clean-out and deserves some kind of ban.

I reckon most other players may have got 1-2 weeks.Given his history, Bakkies is always going to get a week or two 'tacked on'. To be honest with you, I think that's fair enough.

And the Cowan incident is completely different. In my view he was after the headgear rather than the eyes; the hands were close to the eyes because the headgear is close to the eyes. If the commissioner thought he was going for an eye-gouge, he would have been cited and facing a long ban. He decided he wasn't, so he wasn't charged. Fair enough I'd say.

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Alain May 18, 2010 5:15 pm

4 weeks is harsh. 2 weeks maybe 3. now his gona miss the french test :(

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cheyanqui May 18, 2010 5:19 pm

On the Cowan incident -- anything around the eyes should be treated as "outcome" vs "intent".

However, proving "outcome" (that he came in contact with the eyes) is almost impossible, unless you had a camera in the grass looking up.

Thus, all you have is "intent", and that can be explained away with the headgear.

I just wish your brought back the good old days of some ruck-side justice. A few boots on Bakkies or Cowan, and that sate quite a few folks hungry for justice.

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jpm May 18, 2010 5:19 pm

This " clean out" actually had far more in common with Botha's head first dive at Ben Kay in a ruck in the 2007 World Cup Final than it does the Lions tour incident.

Clear head first dive into the ribs.

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jpm May 18, 2010 5:22 pm

Look closer ....it is a head first dive into the player's exposed rib cage....not head to head.

Botha is always looking for people to hurt.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 5:24 pm

About right he entered from the side, which is only penalty worthy. But he also made no effort to use his arms or engage a player, and clearly (to me) went in driving down onto a player with a head to head hit...breaking it down, he went in form the side, drove down (diving in), made no effort to bind any player, and went head to head. I agree that his previous ban was way too harsh, so had that not been in history, 1 or 2 would have been right. But given his added "history", worthy or not, 4 seems right...

Having said all that, I agree the game is getting a bit soft..

@jpm...it is head to head, clearly. His shoulder ended up in his ribcage, but the initial hit is head to head...

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JK May 18, 2010 5:33 pm

That's bullcrap. It was only dangerous because he's an absolute mutant. Looked like he was going off his feet, but that's all. If you can't stand the heat, stay the hell out of the ruck - especially wingers.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 5:35 pm

A stupid ban indeed!! thats just hard rucking nothing more... wish the game had more botha's around

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Ben May 18, 2010 5:40 pm

From a technical point of view, it was pretty bad

1) In at the side
2) Off his feet
3) Head and shoulders below his knees
4) No attempt to use the arms

But, also from a disciplinary point of view (which is the reason he's got the ban)

1) He's deliberately targeted the guy at the break down and seen it as an opportunity to hurt somebody and put a marker down in the first minute of the game. The reason he came in from the side in the first place was because he didn't want to miss the chance to smash somebody. It was totally pre meditated. He knew exactly what he was doing.

2) It's a completely reckless action. As rugby player, we all like to get stuck in, but we also have a responsibility for the safety and welfare of everybody on the pitch, including the opposition.

3) He has got previous form, not only for the Adam Jones incident (which I actually dont think is as bad as this) but for a whole host of other things. Hes got a terrible reputation.

Maybe hell think twice about how conducts himself in the future? (Although I doubt this will change anything)

4 weeks is spot on I think.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 5:46 pm

Bothas either a dirty player, or just gets over excited on the big occasions. Either way I think a ban was fair, four weeks was perhaps to much though. Maybe with the view on his previous offences this was just a warning to him rather than being the usual punishment for an offence like that

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 6:08 pm

For Hennie and everybody thinking that 4 weeks is to long and that that was in the rules. Maybe when he will broke a neck and transform a player in disabled you will review your point of view.

You can play a very physical rugby without destroying the neck and head of the player.

Personally i'm tired of bakhies botha ... can't wait the time for his retirement

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Wessel May 18, 2010 6:27 pm

Harsh perhaps if he did not have a history.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 6:33 pm

If Bakkies Botha is not cleared of this charge, then the entire coaching style of southern hemisphere rugby has to change. we get coached to do this - 'fly into a ruck'. I personally hate Bakkies Botha, he is a thug, but the charge against him last year during the lions tour was also a complete joke, and so is this. He's competing for the ball.

The selflessness, dedication and bravery to put one's body on the line in such fashion is what wins and loses most games of rugby. It should NOT be refereed out of the game.

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glove39 May 18, 2010 7:01 pm

Tricky area that one. Not sure about 4 week suspension.
Although I know from personal experience the dangers of a ruck. Playing at u16 level few years ago, some guy came flying into the ruck, hit me. And resulted in a dislocated shoulder for me :/

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(u-p)rick May 18, 2010 7:36 pm

4 weeks would be harsh if there were no priors...

...but due to priors i think its fair, he deserved a ban!...

I defended him against adam jones, even though he might have had intent to hurt him, to me, it didnt look as bad as this....

WHEEEEEREAS, this on the other hand was much worse. The thing that clinched it for me was the fact he left his feet.....

had he stayed on his feet i'd have said 'nasty but not really ban material' but because he left his feet i'd say he deserved the ban...

who is the player (islander) who has twice lead with his head, first time got a red card for it?? similar incident!

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Conor May 18, 2010 7:38 pm

Four weeks is spot on he has done this how many times? Longer spells on the side line should be handed out to repeat offenders! Dirty dirty player always uses his size and bulk to pick on smaller opposition

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(u-p)rick May 18, 2010 7:40 pm

I just watched the end of the clip when the commentator was talking about 'that split second' im sorry but anyone who plays, (and i play second row) knows exactly what you are doing in a situation like that....

....im not proud but it wouldnt stop me doing it again, but i have lead with my head, and have not been caught, i knew what i was doing, and i knew what i was trying to achieve....and im sorry but, off your feet, in from the side, leading with your head....he knew exactly what he was doing!!!

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 7:44 pm

If it was a once off offense, a ban might be a bit harsh. But it's not.

Even so, I'd still cut the ban in half.

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ieu May 18, 2010 7:47 pm

In the 2007/2008 season a Cardiff RFC player did a very similar "clear out" on the Neath RFC no.9, Gareth Jones, when the ruck was stationary and Cardiff had clearly won the ball (like in this vid). Gareth Jones broke his neck and passed away a couple of weeks later. Such tragedies illustrate why cheapshots like this should be kept out of the game. However, no doubt Botha will be available next week after an appeal.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 7:53 pm

4 weeks is about right. Botha is lucky he didn't inflict a spinal injury.

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boomer May 18, 2010 7:57 pm

Since when is it a rugby player's intent NOT to hurt the opposition? We were taught to tackle and destroy the opposition from the get go to hurt them and thereby scare them! Legally of course

This in my eyes is a transgression, not foul play. Ban definitely not warranted.

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mat May 18, 2010 8:03 pm

have to say Ben has got it spot on, his only defense is that the guy off his feet, but he clearly aimed for the head. Flew off his feet, side entry, shoulder (and head) impact.
the no use of arms still applies in ruck, you are supposed to bind with the player but often does not.
Deserved a yellow but was first min of game so the ref bottled it.

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FrankyH May 18, 2010 8:07 pm

While I'm not one for sob stories, Ieu's comment does make one think about the seriousness of these type of 'cheap shots' a little more.

Bakkies is an old school type of player though, and perhaps if we still had rucking, he wouldn't need to resort to this type of thing when players are lying where they shouldn't be. And let's not kid ourselves, before a game we all get pumped up and want to go out there and demolish the other team, so of course there was an element of wanting to impose himself physically. The fact that Aplon is about 70kg's is unfortunate, but that's rugby.

To those who said they don't like Bakkies and want him out the game etc, believe me, if you could have him play for you, he'd be one of your greatest assets without a doubt. If you were going to war, you'd want him on your side.

One, two weeks max imo.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 8:53 pm

What the hell is he doing? haha

I'd say 4 weeks about right after the one from lions tour otherwise maybe bit less without previous offences. He's going to do someone some serious damage one day, not just busted shoulders and heads.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 8:58 pm

that is clearly purposely done. Botha knows getting hit on the top of the head when you inflict it does not hurt compared to a hit in the temple when you arent expecting it. hes a dirty player and i have no respect for him! hes constantly looking for people exposed at rucks to plow his body through. i hope someone does it to him some day

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:02 pm

RD what is minimal abuse level?

Am I allowed to call the people saying that Botha should be allowed to do this otherwise we're all pussies 'nincompoops'?

If not then I won't.

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RD May 18, 2010 9:05 pm

Remind me to add the word 'nincompoops' to the commenting guidelines actually

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:10 pm

@Anon 8:33 - If you have ever been coached to ruck like that, you're being coached by morons who have no idea what they speak of and don't deserve to caoch athletes in any sport

@boomer 9:57 - It's opne thing to be physical and "hard". It's another to try to intentionally hit with intent to injure outside of the laws of the game. I've played at every level, and yes I earned my cap, and that sort of thing doesn't make the other team fear you, it does the opposite. It marks you. If you are trying to intimidate and such, that's done with repeated clean physical hits and tackles. I don't know too many players at a high level who wouldn't take some foul play in return for a penalty and nto think twice about it - because there is no fear or intimidation.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:10 pm

What about the player who tried to clear him out?No 1 of the Stormers.
WAs he leading with his head??Was he coming from the side??
Was his head and shoulders below his hips??
Was he hitting Bakkies with the head in the ribs??
Look at the video and be honest.
These dishonest cowards are targetting Bakkies and the Bulls.

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JK May 18, 2010 9:14 pm

I assume RD was trying to avoid the 'ZA rules, you guys all suck nuts' vs. 'you're all cheating boer bastards' arguement that tends to break out whenever a saffer (or, for that matter, any SHer) does anything wrong. Seems to have worked.

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jm May 18, 2010 9:16 pm

has anyone see Botha actually take on another sides hard man face to face man to man? Would he sqaure up to Burger of Western Province on the pitch? no way.

Botha is a tough SOB, but he always gets people when they are not looking. e.g. Mortlock's head at the bottom of a ruck etc...the person is always in a compromising position or trapped and Botha comes in and dishes it out.....he really is a coward.

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andy May 18, 2010 9:18 pm

Thats a good point JM

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:27 pm

I thought his right arm was making an effort to bind to Gios leg. wasnt a shoulder charge like on adam jones last summer, was quite obviously from the side thought

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Dupp May 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Burger is afraid of Bakkies.
He is not a match for Bakkies.
Have you guys look at the video?
See what no 1 of the Stormers do?
Is that legal??
Why so quiet about that??

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FrankyH May 18, 2010 9:32 pm

Of course he does, it's just that when he oversteps the mark, everyone hears about it.

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Chris Boy May 18, 2010 9:32 pm

I guarantee you if it was 78kgs of Gio Aplon doing the same to Bakkies then it wouldn't have been an issue.

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Jak May 18, 2010 9:33 pm

Iagree with Dupp .
What about the player how tried to clear Bakkies out.
Was that legal?????
Be honest for once and look at the video again.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:41 pm

Yeah I think number 1's attempt to clear out Botha was legal. He got under him and drove him out. He didn't fly in from 10 meters out, hit the ruck from the side and smash him in the face with his shoulder.
Just my opinion

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Darren May 18, 2010 9:43 pm

I'm being 100% honest. I watched the game live and after the replay I was disgusted with Botha. I just thought, "that's typical out of that prick". Now for those who are saying that they didn't see much contact, c'mon, he stormed in and basically performed a diving headbutt to the side/temple of a guy's head that's half his size, literally. If Aplon wasn't wearing his scrum cap, who the fuck knows how much damage could have been done. Anyone who says a head butt is about the same as a punch, has never head butted somebody. And that's just using the neck muscles. He charged in from the side and used his head to clear out the ruck. He did it deliberately, he clears out illegally, that's what he does. I'm not knocking him as a player, he's a massive character on the pitch and can intimidate anyone. But he's a big dumb cunt and he's lucky he hasn't injured someone more seriously with his size, tenacity and carelessness.

On another note, Anrdreas Bekker is a fucking freak of nature. Where the fuck did he come from. My #1 player in the world at present.

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Dupp May 18, 2010 9:44 pm

I thought you would be quiet if you had to be objective and honest.
Bunch of dishonest sissies.

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Anonymous May 18, 2010 9:51 pm

I don't think it's the size difference which is the problem. He can't help that. It's more intention and also when people are trapped and not even looking. It's pretty cowardly stuff.

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Jack May 18, 2010 9:55 pm

i'm getting really pissed off with people who keep criticising this type of refereeing saying RUGBY IS NOT FOR PUSSIES

Taking cheap shots at peoples heads whilst they're exposed like that is pathetic, it doesn't make bakkies hard it just makes him a prick

By all means smash the player in contact, exerting force on other players is a large part of what rugby is about, a contact situation is a contest, but hitting a guy in the head whilst he is bridging a ruck is cheap, its dangerous and its cowardly.

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Greg May 18, 2010 9:57 pm

Anonymous.
Did no 1 lead with his head?
Did he come from the side?
Was his head lower than his hips?
Come on!!
Try to be honest.
If that was legal,the Bakkies was also legal.

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Greiffel May 18, 2010 9:58 pm

Apparently Victor Matfield feels Bakkies was harshly dealt with. Here's a pic of him at training earlier today

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Sharks fan May 18, 2010 10:12 pm

Bakkies deserves the ban. Dangerous stuff that

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Dred May 18, 2010 10:17 pm

Sharks fan?
Who are the sharks?
do they play rugby?

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Laurence May 18, 2010 10:25 pm

Wow smashed, im a scrumhalve about Gio's size, im gonna think twice about trying to join rucks and mauls like he did, stay out man , leave it for the big boys, that was like feeding chum to a shark. Dunno if he should be banned for that either hmm...

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Tim May 18, 2010 10:44 pm

Fourweeks is way too harsh.
Botha is paying for his reputation.
Many, many players enter rucks this way, it's like the rugby authorities have decided it's only really a major problem if Botha does it.
Very strange, and is another indication of the ridiculously arbitrary nature of citing commisions in rugby.

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keogh May 19, 2010 12:01 am

Four weeks IS harsh, considering how often this happens with other guys - I guess he just got suspended since he's got a "history" of this sort of thing...

I am not really a Botha "fan" - I wasn't during the B&I campaign, anyways - but Adam Jones said he didn't really have a problem with what happened, and despite Aplon getting hurt, I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted a four week ban for this.

But yeah, Botha really ought to control himself a little better, since he should know they're watching him a little more closely than others, perhaps.

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cheyanqui May 19, 2010 12:15 am

funny, in the US's NFL (gridiron), head-on-head contact is the most important infraction in terms of fines and protecting players.

Granted, guys in helmets, but even the safety denialists in the NFL realize that a player's vulnerable head getting hit by another player who has turned their head into a weapon... should be off limits


Sure Bakkies may have not intended this, but at these elite levels of sport, players must be in control of their bodies.
At this level, recklenessness should be treated much more closely as intent.

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Marty May 19, 2010 12:34 am

Bakkies is a cheap c#@t who deserves everything he gets. I look forward to the day he gets blind sided in a ruck, causing spinal concussion. (that end bit was a bit rough, but he doesn't care if it affects anyone he's hitting).

Clearing out a ruck, does not equal a flying malicious head/ shoulder charge. it's binding on at the back and driving through. This does not take away from the physical nature of rugby, I'm all for the big hits. Just keep it legal.


He should go do UFC if he's such a hard bastard.

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Marty May 19, 2010 12:37 am

P.s notice he always puts on big hits when the other players not looking. I've never seen him smash anyone in a front on big tackle.

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Brendan May 19, 2010 12:52 am

I'm not sure what video the judiciary or anyone else is watching - Bakkies clearly has his arm up and does make contact with the player simultaneously as his head makes contact with the head of the unfortunate winger.
I also thought the Lions incident was harshly treated. In saying that, he has left his feet, although the opposition were also all off their feet. There's no doubt he's a grub but a four week suspension for coming in from the side and leaving your feet - bit harsh I think.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 1:00 am

Anonymous at May 18, 2010 11:10 PM

I beg to differ about your theory....you state there is no fear and intimidation....

....yes ofcourse when you are on the pitch you fear no other man, but if i was to come against Martin Johnson with a mean face, i think i'd shit my pants....And i fear no man...

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Towelie May 19, 2010 1:45 am

Sigh, there are a lot of c*nts on this site.....

you all bitch about another player who 'did something'

but that is not the point?!? i mean, thats like saying to OJ friggin simpson, 'Did you murder your wife?' then having him reply with 'She was having an affair'....

....very interesting f*cking point, but its not exactly the question we were asking was it!

'Did attoub poke someone in the eye?'.....'well....burger pokes people in the eye'

SEE, ITS THE SAME F*CKING POINT, HOW ABOUT YOU STAY ON TOPIC!!!

Anyway, with regards to this, i think botha's ban for his efforts on adam jones were a little harsh, i personally (even as someone who is not as a direct lions fan, but did not want SA to win!) didnt see much in his efforts on adam jones, i mean, yeh i think he meant to hurt him, but it didnt look particularly illegal....

....whereas this, he definately deserved a ban, in from the side, leading with his head, off his feet, just all the signs of attempting to hurt someone.....

4 weeks is right in my opinion...lets just hope there is no more "Justice for bakkies" armbands or something this time....

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 2:01 am

look at Brock Harris (Stormers prop) he comes in and does the EXACT same thing that Botha did.

Just because a little back gets injured for being in the ruck... that doesn't call for a citing. If so, then most players that go into the rucks would be suspended.

Bakkies Botha is an Enforcer, and one of a kind. I have the utmost respect for him, because players like him are are a dying breed. He's old school.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 2:01 am

Four weeks at least. The amount of times he does this, they should start looking at even longer bans. He just seems to have no regard for the safety of anyone on the pitch: he's either a sociopath or very very stupid.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 2:06 am

Oh and although Botha is one of the most hated players in world rugby, he will walk into any team. We must not forget that Bakkies and Victor are the best locks/locking pair the game has ever seen.

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Hal May 19, 2010 2:30 am

Um, i'd disagree bakkies is the best lock in the world....i mean, heck is world class and a very good player, but you sound a little one eyed....

also:
'Bakkies Botha is an Enforcer, and one of a kind. I have the utmost respect for him, because players like him are are a dying breed. He's old school.'

Well thats funny....i was pretty sure there were 15 positions in rugby and i dont recall any position being called 'Enforcer'

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Tim May 19, 2010 2:30 am

Botha is a good player beyond what he does at ruck time.
The point that everyone is missing in their hatred for Botha (seems mostly to be bitter B&I Lions fans having a whinge to be honest), is that this kind of clearing out occurs all the time, and it seems to only be a problem if Botha does it.
That's ridiculous and unfiar, regardless of what you think of Botha.

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No.7 May 19, 2010 2:38 am

No tim, i think you are clearly missing the point here, there appears to be multiple comments on here, stating how bakkies ban seems fair because of priors, and i know that a lot of these people are Southern Hem fans....

so as for your bitter b&l fans...come on, its nearly been a year, get over the fact that you guys won....we certainly have... i mean, its not like we went over there expecting to win, a win would have been very nice, but i dont recall any 100% guaranteed we will win comments.......

As for the Adam jones incident, it has been stated a couple times here, and im about to state it, as well as when it happened, many people felt that 'yes, it was intentional to hurt jones, but it wasnt particularly illegal' and in my eyes i think the biggest atrocity was the fact the SA players wore justice bands....bakkies could have been banned for breathing or something absolutely ridiculous and i still think wearing those bands would be outrageous!

So as for your comment, i assume you are trying to stir the pot and rumble up some trouble.....it appears that most of us who play the game and actually have an idea of the game think that this was either a little too long or just right!!!

So tim, you failed...

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Tim May 19, 2010 3:35 am

Sorry No 7 I have no idea about most of what you're going on about.
You're not even talking about the current topic.
I'm an Aussie, so I didn't win.
I simply said that most of the people who seem to hate Botha seem, anecdotally, to be B&I Lions fans, who seem to have a grudge against him.
But that wasn't the point I was making overall.
I'll repeat it :

"The point that everyone is missing in their hatred for Botha is that this kind of clearing out occurs all the time, and it seems to only be a problem if Botha does it.
That's ridiculous and unfiar, regardless of what you think of Botha."

If you look in this very video clip at the front rower who joins thr ruck right after Botha does, he enters in EXACTLY the same way Botha does. No penalty, no ban.
It's hypocritical.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 3:40 am

@Tim: "...he enters in EXACTLY the same way Botha does."

Headfirst with a considerable run-up into the side of another guy's head? You are quite incorrect, sir.

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Tim May 19, 2010 4:05 am

Alright Anarchangel I concede that he doesn't run up and he doesn't connect with the head.
But that isn't technically what Botha got banned for (you don't get banned for entering a ruck after a run up, and Botha was banned for entering a ruck ilegally, not for contact with the head).
Technically Botha got banned because he "dangerously and recklessly entered a ruck without using his arms or grasping onto a player".
Neither did the front rower.
He too entered without using his arms or grasping onto a player.
In fact, and this is just patently true, many players frequently enter rucks without using their arms or grasping a player.
Particularly the grasping a player thing, players very rarely ever do that, sometimes it's downright impossible.
The point i'm making isn't about Botha, I'm certainly no fan, though I do respect his ability.
I'm stating that if we are going to ban Botha, we need to ban everyone.
And if we go down that path, you're looking at many banned players, every single game.

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Tim May 19, 2010 4:07 am

Oh and Anarchangle, the front rower definalty DOES enter head first, his head hits Botha before any of the rest of him touches anything, and he's bent over at the waist, face down.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 4:23 am

Yes, all of those things are true. But I think the key is "dangerously and recklessly". Obviously this is a physical sport and big guys are going to be running into each other all the time, but just as a shoulder charge isn't worth a card, a late shoulder charge on a guy looking the other way might get you one. Same here. If he hadn't recklessly slammed his head into the other guy's head, it would have just be a regular entry, like the prop afterwards as you point out.

Perhaps what your criticism does point out is that the citing commission should be more explicit about the offense being punished. This seems like a failure of communication rather than a failure of judgement.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 4:26 am

Oh, the the key words in my statement being "into the side of another guy's head".

This is the "reckless and dangerous" bit in my opinion, and I'm sure that's why he got the ban. regardless of what they technically said.

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Tim May 19, 2010 4:33 am

My point is that the manner of entering a ruck that most players use frequently is technically ilegal under the rules.
Judging it by the outcome (ie he got banned here ONLY because Aplon was hurt, and got banned against the lions ONLY because Jones was injured - this is an obvious fact to any unbiased person) is not how it's supposed to work.
If it's ilegal, it's ilegal. The punishment can be more severe because of the outcome, sure, but it can't be legal until someone is injured, when it suddenly becomes ilegal.
If Botha had done this and connected with the guys shoulder, we wouldn't even have noticed it had happened.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 4:37 am

I can't remember the Lions case, so I can't speak to that, except to say that they're always a media and citing circus.

But if Botha had connected with Aplon's shoulder, that wouldn't have proved your case because that wouldn't have been reckless and dangerous (as I understand it). What we need is a case of someone charging into a ruck, head to head, and not injuring the other guy. Then we'd see if it was an anti-Botha conspiracy.

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Anarchangel May 19, 2010 4:40 am

Or Botha charging into someone's shoulder, injuring them and being banned. That would do it too.

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Tim May 19, 2010 5:10 am

It happens all the frigging time anarchangel, people clash heads all the time in rucks, and they are often not binding correctly when they do it.
All kinds of stuff happens in rucks.
It's fine if they want to ban Botha for contact with the head. But they didn't, they keep banning him for simply not binding properly.
If they're gonna keep doing that, they should technically be banning about ten or fifteen players a game.

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vinniechan May 19, 2010 5:16 am

I doubt if he really deserves 4 weeks to be fair.
It's not like he was dumbing a player to the ground or anything, tho he did go in from the side.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 6:28 am

This is total BULL, the ONLY reason Botha was suspended is because he's an Islander if he was White ......oh wait....

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 6:32 am

I'm Irish and I think Botha's an awesome player. He's one of those guys you absolutely hate if he doesn't play for you, but LOVE if he does. Kinda like Roy Keane, Alan Quinlan, etc a cheeky bastard.

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Scotsdale May 19, 2010 6:44 am

^ the most sensible, honest comment on this thread. Well said mate, well said, although there will be those who will disagree no doubt ;)

It's funny, when Jerry Flannery kicked Alexis Pallison's legs, everyone suddenly tries to defend Flannery saying how he must have MEANT to kick the ball or whatever. He's a player with a bad record himself, but noone came out calling him a thug and slinging insults. The same goes for other players, ie Simon Shaw with a knee on FDP last year. Quinlan's eyegouge, players punching, etc.

My point is simply that it's very easy to get on the bandwagon and really pile into a player when he does something wrong. When your team/player does the same (which WILL happen - this is rugby after all), you can't complain when you get the same treatment.

Get off the bandwagon. It's rugby. He's a physical player, and he crossed the line here. Nothing more. Thug, c*nt, etc isn't called for. He's a religious family man who is very much respected by players and friends. He IS a dying breed in the game, and for that he should be appreciated by global fans, not condemned.

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Scotsdale May 19, 2010 6:46 am

.. but he does deserve to be suspended for this. 4 weeks is too much maybe. A yellow card would have been perfect.

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Just a Fan May 19, 2010 7:41 am

Apart from entering from then side I cant see what he did differently to what anyone else clearing rucks out does!
Aplon should get banned for being STUPID! What is a 72kg guy doing in a ruck where guys like Bakkies weigh 120kgs! He was playing out of position and didn't need to be there. Very ineffective in a tackle/ruck situation because of his size - should rather keep himself free to receive the ball and make his mad dashes....

Would love to have seen Matt Giteau get cited for his aerial assault of FDP last year, or Brad Thorn for his spear tackle on John Smit....THOSE incidents were blatant foul play and yet they got off scot free!

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JK May 19, 2010 7:43 am

Question. Do any of you BB prosecutors think the winger would have got the same punishment if he'd done the same clearout to Bakkies?

If not, there's something severely wrong with what's happened here.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 8:03 am

Er JK of course he should. Nothing to do with size. It's intention. And perhaps the technique used.

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Disco May 19, 2010 8:07 am

Scotsdale,

he's a religious family man? So is George Bush, what has being a religious family man got to do with rugby?

The guy deliberately drove the full force of his body in some kind of pile driving headbutt, into the temple of a player stuck in a ruck. I think it's fair enough that he pays extra for having a reputation, he's dangerous.

Brilliant, world class player but obviously struggled to live in Matfield's shadow all this time when if he focused on his game instead of hurting opponents he'd be right up there with Victor.

I'd rather play against him than with him, I wouldn't want a bloke like that on my side, no matter how much damage he's capable of. A big, strong, sadistic coward in my opinion.

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sebastian May 19, 2010 8:27 am

ok, you join a ruck to secure the ball or to win it, maybe even to trouble the opposition when they allready won it so that the scrumhalf doesnt have an easy job

but the movement of mr. botha indicates none of those intents

deserved ban!

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Scotsdale May 19, 2010 8:43 am

My point is he's not a coke-snorting (Bath team), pub brawling (Sione Lauaki), wife beating (Sivivatu), thug. He's a hard, to the point of crossing the line sometimes, rugby player. Off the field he's a gentleman. On the field, he plays hard.

Regarding him and Matfield, that's where you're wrong. If they were both the same type of player, Botha wouldn't play international rugby. They compliment eachother well and the workload that Botha puts in around the park physically means that Matfield doesn't need to. He's even said that himself before.

Take a player like James Horwill from the Reds/Wallabies and give him the edge of Botha, and he'll have a very long and successful career. More importantly, the Wallabies would be feared physically for once.

And I hate to say it, but Martin Johnson, the 'all mighty', was a VERY similar player to Bakkies Botha. Perhaps he's lucky that back then tv replays, citing commissions etc weren't as commonplace.

To reiterate though - I do agree with a suspension of Botha for this, I'm simply standing up for the guy in that I have respect for the way he plays 90% of the time.

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Mike May 19, 2010 8:59 am

I want to watch good rugby, played by the best players possible. If the best players are injured, I will be watching second-rate rugby played by second-rate players. A lot of the rules are there to prevent injury, including how you clear out at rucks. Protecting players and preventing avoidable injury in a collision sport like rugby has nothing to do with 'being a pussy'. In boxing you are not allowed to punch to the balls - does that make boxing a sport for pussies?

This incident is bad - it's almost like he is aiming to trap the winger's shoulder to disclocate it like he did to Adam Jones in the Lions tour. Four weeks is perhaps lenient in this case. Bakkies seems like a nice guy off the pitch, but he really lets himself down sometimes.

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Mike May 19, 2010 9:05 am

Scotsdale -

regarding Jerry Flannery - when he kicked Palisson, I defended him because it was such an outrageous 'tackle', he just had a bang on his head - he must have been concussed or something. Then he did something similar in a Munster game a few weeks back and I could not defend him. Even the Palisson incident could be reconsidered. If a guy keeps doing it, then you have start pointing fingers - next time Flannery does something stupid, I will be calling for a ban with everyone else. Just because I am a Munster fan, I can't give him a pass - in fact, I feel like he is letting ME and the province down.

So with Bakkies - you can't excuse the guy because he is religious, or he is whatever. If he does dangerous, illegal stuff on the field, he must be punished until he stops.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 9:35 am

Disco, he is on the same level as Matfield, just a different player.

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Bob May 19, 2010 10:39 am

Wasn't a legal clear-out (his one against Lions was)
This is a clear flying head-butt. He led with his head into side of the players head/face.

I'd say he was lucky to get away with four weeks.

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themull May 19, 2010 11:08 am

Cheap shot, in from the side, no attempt to clear the player...He came in to hurt the player rather than clear him out and lucky he didnt cause a serious shoulder injury....

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(u-p)rick May 19, 2010 11:40 am

There are a lot of people inventing stuff here, i mean its like a writers convention here, lets stir up a fantastic 'story'

Lets get something straight, whilst i cannot be bothered to count posts, i have read them as they come and there are:

1. VERY VERY little posts insulting botha.....
2. Possibly 1 or 2 trolls who are harping the adam jones incident, whether they are b&l fans or just some little 12 yr old trying to cause some shit i do not know.
3. Probably a split of 30% against the ban and 70% for it...

So to all you who are inventing this 'bitter lions fans' 'botha haters' etc etc...its a fact, it doesnt matter who he is or who he plays for, the fact is, he came in from the side, lead with his head, and left his feet, summed up with a similar prior incident, he deserved the ban.....

...He could be the nicest kindest generous person on the planet and he'd still deserve a ban...

Scotsdale, no one is disputing MJ was a bit dirty, i mean, i would say out of Burger and Bakkies, that burger is much more 'dirty.' Bakkies just plays hard and plays to hurt, as did martin johnson, and what he could get away with i.e 'dark arts' he would, as would bakkies....This was never a case of 'love your own nations players and ban all the rest' ....its simply, 'man does something bad so man gets banned'....

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Edbok May 19, 2010 11:46 am

I don't understand this - "without using his arms or grasping onto a player."

He does use his arms here, that's really obvious.

What was dangerous (aside from the size mismatch!) was how he launched in without much attempt to stay on his feet. And if you want to cite people for this in future, fine - but until that happens, this citing is targeted on the person, not the offence.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 12:50 pm

Somebody should tell Bakkies not too clear out, just throw some punches as it seems that all you get is a yellow card, as shown in "Reds vs. Highlanders" and "Nathan White vs Al Baxter".
Think what he did was stupid especially with his history and reputation, but I wonder what would have happened if it was him throwing punches.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 1:13 pm

Edbok, i think what is clear is that bakkies was trying to hurt the winger....now dont get me wrong, we are all taught to 'hurt' the other guy...but it needs to be legal....

I dont know whether there was a sort of mix up like a: 'he is blatantly trying to cause some harm, so we need to ping him on this, but what can we charge him with' statement....perhaps so. But you have to allow some flexibility with the laws of the game....for instance some accidental incidents can still induce bans, because they are reckless....

I think they mostly targeted that style of play....bakkies has in 2 high profile matches, used that technique, and in both caused injury (this being lesser of an injury...)

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jpm May 19, 2010 1:29 pm

A flying head but is not a "clear -out".

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rodofle May 19, 2010 1:48 pm

He purposely hit the man's head, he could have made real damages (breaking his neck or something like that), so i think 4 weeks is really sweet

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Seth May 19, 2010 2:12 pm

Clearly came in from the side, clearly left his feet, clearly aimed for the opponents head...

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 3:26 pm

Oh, Come on - Botha lives for rugby and he had been out for a long time, here he is coming back in his first match in ages and what a big match it was - and then he got a bit too excited and the heat of the moment got to him a little, shouldn't even be a ban - seems like people are just banning his name now instead of actually looking at the incident clearly - he is a hard man and this is why he is one part of the best pair in world rugby - vic and botha - other countries are just scared of him and thats why they call for his head all the time . Playing agains a SA side without this guy in it is just not playing against the boks!!!! Rugby is the loser here and those fans who actually love to see tough guys against tough guys... wales and france will be dissapointed however their fans won't be!!!

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i love bacon May 19, 2010 4:41 pm

It's clear that people hiding behind "Anonymous" are more likely to make idiotic comments.

I've said it earlier that I thought 4 weeks was a bit harsh, but you're just straight-up stupid.

Leading with your head does not make you "hard".Harinordoquy, Burger, Elsom, Collins, even O'Driscoll for christ's sake are all examples of tough, REAL rugby players. Botha is for sure a tough guy, but nothing in this video supports that.

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i love bacon May 19, 2010 4:54 pm

If it's ilegal, it's ilegal. The punishment can be more severe because of the outcome, sure, but it can't be legal until someone is injured, when it suddenly becomes ilegal.

Yeah, that's true. That's why this is first of all a penalty, then, Kaplan could well have given him a card (a yellow at most) due to the severity of the incident and Botha's carelessness in flying into the ruck - but he didn't, and that's fine, too. Then, the citing commission called it up due to Botha's "history" of such things.

The penalty is for the illegal incident; everything else that happens after is circumstantial.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 5:24 pm

Anyone else wish some of the old school enforcers were still around? Would love to see Botha pull this crap with Richard Loe or someone else on the pitch.

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edbok May 19, 2010 5:34 pm

To the Anonymous who replied to me...

1) irrelevant if he was trying to hurt Aplon. As you admit, "accidental incidents" can lead to bans.

2) The Adam Jones clear out, okay, just work your way through the RD comments on that thread to see how few people felt that was a fair citing. I think you are on your own if you believe the two incidents were remotely comparable.

If the reason for the ban here was for the head-to-head contact, you what would be awesome, is if the citation or punishment actually said that was what it was for. It didn't, that's what makes me a bit suspicious here they've crafted the offence around the person.

One of the smarter comments was to say that had Botha just punched Aplon he'd have been fine. That's about right.

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Mike May 19, 2010 7:34 pm

This should not be about WHO committed the offence. Just whether an offence was committed or not. If there was, you look at the track record of the guy concerned - if he has previous offences, you punish him more harshly.

Jerry Flannery is the example I gave earlier - he is a very good player, and 'my' player for Munster and Ireland. When he kicked Palisson, I defended him. When he did it again, I did not - it's now clear the guy goes a bit crazy now and then. He's a tough, hard player too, like Bakkies. But I'm not going to pretend he's innocent and I'm not going to argue when he gets punished.

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Me May 19, 2010 8:24 pm

edbok i dont really understand you.....

He had a penalty against him, this illegal activity could lead to injuries with head head contact....so he was cited, when viewing its not 100% clear that it was head head, or shoulder head, therefore they say 'should we ban him, lets open his record book' they see a 'similar' but not exactly the same incident on adam jones with botha 'not entering a ruck correctly' therefore they say, 'ah he has priors' so now what do they do? look at other cases i'd assume i.e a precedent....Epi taione, entering a maul headbutting an opposition player...similar not the same....

all in all, it was the right decision whichever way you look at it!!!

If you want to head down 'letter of the law' route then check out 'Tom James headbutt'

Is that what you want to see?

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 9:16 pm

Four weeks is great. He has to rehabilitate and decide whether he wants to play rugby anymore.

Punishment must fit the crime and this is serious and could have cause serious injury---life long.

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tim May 20, 2010 12:10 am

Botha probably deserved a ban for making contact with the head.
That is what he should have been banned for.
The problem is that he was actually banned for not joining a ruck correctly, in a dangerous manner.
That's a problem because many players enter rucks the same way (technically ilegaly, and potentially, sometimes actually dangerously).
It is hypocritical to ban Botha, but let it slide when other players do it.
My critisism is at the mess that is the citing process and how unpredictable and seemingly arbitrary it is.

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Anonymous May 20, 2010 2:16 am

Bakkies is fantastic player...and a class forward. South African players are generally agressive in the forward play, especially at the breakdowns.I believe this punishment was a bit harsh. As for the arguement that he came in from the side and didnt bind...thats complete bollocks. Look at half of the rucks out there and you'll see how messy they are

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Jackson May 20, 2010 3:04 am

Thanks for the warning at the top of the comments RD (First, yeh!). Before I even viewed the video I had run round to the side of my PC, dropped my arms, lowered the noggin and was just about to launch into this discussion on a head-to-head basis and I caught your warning just in time. Nice one.

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handson May 20, 2010 3:48 am

The guy is always looking for cheap shots.It is about time he gets a suspension.There was no effort to even look to see where the ball was and he had every intent on causing a serious injury!!!!

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nomex May 20, 2010 8:23 am

some rules hv been broken, therefore a penalty and a ban (maybe not that long) are justified. I got the impression that he almost killed the guy :D .... let me guess... 50kg difference?!

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mick t May 20, 2010 10:09 am

Anonymous said... As for the arguement that he came in from the side and didnt bind...thats complete bollocks.

The video says you're wrong.

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Les Bleus May 20, 2010 10:22 am

I find it funny how everyone thinks he is the hardman of rugby today, yeah he is a good player but his ''hardman'' attitude gets him a lot of suspensions. If you want to be the best ''hardman'' in rugby, you have to do it with a subtle approach that doesn't land you in the thick of it each week.

Botha deserved a four week ban because the frequency of his illegal playing is high. Anyone else? Not really.

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edbok May 20, 2010 12:20 pm

Tim's comment is spot on.

Bakkies will pretty much always cop a longer-than-standard ban, because of his past record.

But that's not what's at issue here.

He got cited and punished for dangerously entering a ruck - including not using his arms (which is absurd, he does bind on Aplon). If the ban was for the head-to-head/shoulder collision, I'd see where the disciplinary guys were coming from. But that's not the reason for the ban, there's no mention of it.

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Cheis May 20, 2010 12:41 pm

4 weeks way to harsh!!

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(u-p)rick May 20, 2010 12:57 pm

Actually i'd say les bleus comment is spot on!

Although Grewcock is not a good as player they have the same profile....

Grewcock, is the mean, quite threatening player that you wouldnt want to be on the wrong side of....but can he do anything bad without getting caught? nope....

Botha's on the line reputation precedes him and he gets caught doing stupid stuff.....

And whilst im aware Martin Johnson was no saint, and was probably lucky citing wasn't big back then, he got away with his nasty stuff....(most of the time!)

Anyway, why does playing aggressive and hard make you exempt from the rules? it doesnt...

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Anonymous May 20, 2010 3:51 pm

4 weeks HARSH?!! WTF?!! How can you call that harsh?! He is a dirty, cheating, filthy player. Previous should be taken into account for a ban and this guy has previous in spades! In from the side, deliberately targeting the man with his head.

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Me May 20, 2010 8:14 pm

Ok edbok, between 43 and 44 seconds, bothas head makes a connection first, hence leading with the head, hence not using arms, hence entering a ruck illegally.....i know its a bit petty and small with regards to the actual incident, but perhaps they needed to punish him without setting a precedent where all super 14 teams that want to bitch about a referee can jump onto so that ref does not ref again....

yes the 1 leads with his head but he does not make head head contact, and he stays on his feet.....

botha dived head first into another player and whilst i have no real issue with him he deserves a ban here!

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Marty May 21, 2010 1:37 am

If he's such a hard man, can someone find some footage of him pulling off a hard, clean tackle. Every hardman" tactic he has enforced is a CHEAP shot!!

he's a religious family man". This doesn't suddenly mean he is a good person or has morals.

Well said Disco

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Marty May 21, 2010 1:39 am

Being a "hardman" is fronting up to people, not hitting a bloke when his back's turned and vulnerable.

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jpm May 21, 2010 2:03 am

I looked for a Youtube video of Botha making a big tackle and couldn't find one.

I did find plenty of Btha making cheap shots against trapped and defenseless players. I am slight mystified as to why this makes you a "hard man."

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(u-p)rick May 21, 2010 5:45 am

well guys, i agree with the ban, i agree bakkies puts in cheapshots.......etc etc etc

but you want a clean big hit from him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0vSAOkMPDU&feature=related

View Video

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Scotsdale May 21, 2010 6:50 am

I find it incredibly stupid that some people here think that being a 'hardman' on the field means that you have to put in big tackles left right and center. That certainly is NOT what Bakkies' job is around the park. His job is to get under the skin of the opposition, make his presence felt at ruck time, and basically just throw his weight around a bit.

About that 'cheapshot' on Mortlock, I'd say the only cheapshot there was the snipey bias commentator's! A neutral would admit it was simply an unfortunate clash.

His tackle on Barnes was good but not amazing, but once again, being an intimidating 'enforcer' doesn't mean you'll make pretty looking tackles all the time. Just look at Schalk Burger - one of the toughest SOB's around and the only spectacular hit I can think of that he's made is on FDP last year.

Anyway, it's funny how much discussion this has raised. I wouldn't care if thug flannery did this to thug quinlan, or vice versa. It's rugby, shit happens. Hardmen made the game what it is, or was..

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Evan May 21, 2010 12:19 pm

Hard man? No, just hard of hearing, you haven't got the message yet that cheap shots are cowardly and dumb. You've just made your squad a man short for four weeks through arrogance and bad discipline. Good work hard man!

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Anonymous May 22, 2010 7:15 pm

^^ and the bulls will still win the S14 without him, so evans take your trash talk else where!!

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Anonymous May 22, 2010 7:17 pm

Funny how everyone knows about Botha and even when they don't like the guy they still take the time to type up shit about him and post it on here, over 100 comments not bad for a bloke no one likes! I'd still pick him for my team any day!!

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Anonymous May 22, 2010 7:19 pm

^ I second that, he's one scary looking guy, you would definately wan't him on your side!

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(u-p)rick May 22, 2010 7:41 pm

Scotsdale there is no such thing as an enforcer nor a hardman! THESE ARE MADE UP RUGBY TERMS....

His JOB is to turn up at scrum time and push like hell, win his lineouts, work hard around the field, carrying the ball, etc etc etc.....Anything extra is either an asset, if its legal, or a hinderance if its illegal...

Now take bakkies, this is man who ofcourse i wouldnt want to ruck against (re. Adam Jones, Gio Aplon etc) but i would not consider him an intimidating player. I would however be intimidated by Victor Matfield, Martin Johnson...so what does that say for your 'enforcer'

Bakkies whilst a good player deserved this ban, he has performed this manouvre or similar tactics too many times!

p.s you mention Burger, as if to say he is an enforcer of some sort, he plays the line, he hurts players but his general tactic is one of any good flanker....and if he gets caught everybody thinks, well it is about time....he plays dirty(ish) but i'd conider his game 'cleaner' than bakkies (minus his eye poking efforts over the years!)

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Marty May 24, 2010 5:42 am

(u-p)rick said... I stand corrected. He smashed a small man running across field and managed to come across his face with the forearm just to make sure of it.
The case of for and against still stacks highly on for, for cheap shots.

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