South Africa beat Samoa in tough battle

All RWC Highlights from opening round

All Blacks stay composed vs Argentina

Tim Nanai-Williams and Samoa beat USA

Prop Reggie Goodes steamrolls back

Dave Dennis Mic'd up in the NRC

George Gregan's halfback Masterclass

Ruck Clean Out to dominate breakdowns

Richie McCaw reveals breakdown secrets

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dean Greyling suspended for two weeks for strike on Richie McCaw

Springbok prop Dean Greyling had a nightmare of a game against the All Blacks on Saturday, as he missed one crucial tackle in particular, gave away a handful of penalties, and was yellow carded for a strike on Richie McCaw.

Greyling was cited after the match, and yesterday handed a two-week suspension, which in effect sees him only miss one game, a ruling that some have felt is quite lenient considering that Eben Etzebeth received the same punishment for his mock-headbutt on Nathan Sharpe.

McCaw had another incredible match, one of his best performances in recent times, and he took the forearm to the face well. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen called it a 'cheap shot', while Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer condemed it, and offered an apology.

"I am very big on discipline and it is unacceptable. I think it cost us the game as well. I want to apologise to Richie and we will deal with it in-house (as well), but it is unacceptable," Meyer said.

SANZAR Judicial Officer Paul Tully said that although there was no injury, the strike had the potential to cause serious harm. He added that Greyling pleaded guilty to the breach of the law.

Jean de Villiers stated that Greyling will be dealt with, most likely in the form of a hefty fine. "We'll never condone playing dirty," De Villiers said. "Like the coach said, discipline is a non-negotiable for us and definitely if he was in the wrong we'll take action internally against him."

Greyling will miss the next Springbok match, when they host Australia in Pretoria on 29 September.

Posted by Rugbydump at 8:17 am | View Comments (41)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 41 comments

Pretzel September 17, 2012 10:25 am

Give that man a black shirt, as someone else said, he was their best player!

Looks like McCaw got a good ole bashing there from the boks...

"Oh, and did anyone see the pathetic way McCaw appealed to the touch judge, what a pussy, he just threw his arms up and looked at the touch judge, what a wimp and a coward, and all the other things that Nathan Sharpe apparently is..."

I've put that paragraph in quotation marks, not because it is a quote, but because I will label it as sarcasm for all you low brows who would no doubt take offence...

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MAck September 17, 2012 3:23 pm

How is McCaw off side? He assists in the tackle, is still on his feet, he doesn't have hands on the ball and his was the last foot at the ruck. He then gets cleaned out and ends up on his arse. If you look where the ball came out it would mean McCaw would have to have some pretty long arms to have been interfering with it.
This phobia about him always being off side is wrong.
As for Justin Marshall what a plonker, does he have a personal vendetta on against McCaw. He's starting to sound more and more like the Aussie commentators.

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MAck September 17, 2012 6:09 pm

Yeah I know.....I accidentally posted under your post..........sue me.

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Pretzel September 17, 2012 6:19 pm

lol, might want to clarify who you were writing it too...

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katman September 17, 2012 10:26 am

What a complete poepol. The fact that the Bokke were still competitive in spite of his numerous brain explosions was heartening, I guess.

Luckily the back-up tighthead prop, Pat Cilliers, should be fit again for the home games and should play from the bench.

Let this be the end of Greyling’s Bok career.

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stroudos September 17, 2012 10:37 am

What a ***king idiot! The craziest thing about this is Offside Rich had already been cleared out by Vemeuelen anyway. The ball was there on the SA side, he's actually slowed down Bok ball by diving over the top of the ball itself and getting in his own scrummy's way.

Someone suggested (tongue-in-cheek of course) that Greyling had been bribed to try and throw the game - on this evidence that would be the only rational explanation for stupidity of this order!

BTW How hard is Richie's nose!? That must be, what, 120kg? of flying prop, smashing him in his prone face, elbow-first. Didn't even seem to get a nose-bleed...

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Guy September 17, 2012 11:50 am

I would suggest, judging on how hard Richie is hit twice in this ruck alone, the Bok players have been instructed on how to deal with him.

'' 007 '' Greyling obviously though he had Carte Blanche or a License to Kill or something like that, in this case.

BTW: not too big a fan of all those Springbok supporters directly claiming something like 'hope we have seen the last of him in a Bok jersey etc'.

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Citing Commissioner September 17, 2012 10:37 am

I really don't understand these Citings for yellow cards. This was clearly in front of the touchjudge, who saw it and decided it was worth a yellow. If it is due more than the 10 minutes then surely it should be a red. How is it justifiable to ban a player for an extended period but to allow him back on minutes after the original offence - please could someone explain the logic, I've been trying to work it out for years.

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Pretzel September 17, 2012 11:09 am

There is no logic, I've said it billions of times, in the perfect world:

Yellow card = No ban
Red card = possible ban

Yellow card is simply, "you've been naughty, calm down."
Red card ranges from "you've been really bad this game therefore I will punish you for just this game" to "you are seriously an idiot, this red card is all I can do for this game, but the banning bunch are going to tear you a new one!"

I can only say that perhaps the governing bodies are too over the top, or the touch judge needs a new pair of spectacles...

Referees are terrified of issuing red cards... tbh this is WHY I feel the white card should be introduced into card decisions, so that IF the referee wants to, then he can ask the video referee's opinion on the matter... otherwise all we will ever see, is a referee too scared to pull a red due to the scrutiny, and we will see idiots getting yellows for perhaps red card worthy offences...

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matt September 17, 2012 6:20 pm

I think you got it right at the end there, referees/assistants are scared of giving straight reds, particularly in internationals.
I'm right with you on using the TMO for disciplinary issues as well

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stroudos September 17, 2012 10:40 am

(Not prone, I meant "unprotected").

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Eggman September 17, 2012 11:22 am

Jesus what an idiot.. really lucky to only get a yellow..
2 weeks doesn't seem like a long enough ban to me, especially considering that Etzebeth got the same amount of time for his very weak headbutt.. Thought this was much worse.

On a side not, Aaron Smith's face is hilarious at about 1:23 when you see his shock and outrage in slow motion

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See Ya DG September 17, 2012 11:54 am

His brief cameo was the worst I've ever seen in an international match, he has absolutely nothing between his ears. The two week ban is probably the least of his worries, unless Heyneke Meyer is genuinely trying to get the sack (would explain some of his decisions) he won't pick him again.

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Colombes September 17, 2012 12:00 pm

How idiot is this player? doing a cheap-shot just in front of both referees
it could have been easily a red card.
the guy let down his team-mates and must have received a big bok slap from Meyer

ps: on a side note, like always, mccaw always having a great match, but always off his feet or on rucks sides, and like always, never sanctionned :)

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Demosys September 17, 2012 12:11 pm

As usual McCaw does wathever he wants in the rucks without being penalised. So well deserved punch for him.

Stupid hit by the bok just in front of ....everyone. What the hell did he think? I will just dive and throw my forearm in his face ? lol

Greyling= Red card for being so stupid
McCaw= Yellow card for his work

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rememberthemer September 17, 2012 12:16 pm

Just curious, but could you please explain to me what McCaw was doing illegally here?

I want specifics, not just general allegations. Please, astound me with your knowledge of the game.

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Eggman September 17, 2012 12:48 pm

you can see him just before he's cleaned out (by Vermeulen I think) handling the ball in the ruck.. Even the kiwi comentator said that he wasn't allowed to do that.

I guess greyling was getting frustrated because he's been doing it all day (as good open side flankers do and have to do) and the ref didnt penalize him for it. That being said, that doesn't give him the right to elbow him in the face...

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Demosys September 17, 2012 12:54 pm

As usual, he is offside and continues to contest the ball.

He contests the ball after n°18 tackle. Nothing wrong with that.
Bok support comes, McCaw is on the side of the ruck but he still continues to disrupt the ball.
Cleaned by Vermeulen, he keeps his hands in the ruck.
Smashed by Greyling etc......

Commentator just said: " I can understand his (Greyling) frustration. Mc Caw was in here and probably had no right to continually be disrupting the ball. etc....."

Need more ?

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Guy September 17, 2012 1:23 pm

That clarifies a lot. For example it clarifies why some people seem to think it is allright to take matters into your own hand as long as the referee or the citing commissioner doesn't notice.

Vermeulen does a nice cleanout; that's the way you should deal with those things. Diving into a ruck from offside position with the sole purpose to smack your opponent in the face is neither legal, nor smart and it should definitely not be condoned.

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rememberthemer September 17, 2012 3:03 pm

Abject crap. He enters the ruck on his feet and is bound onto the only South African. If you are on your feet you can keep pushing, driving and grappling. That is what one does in a ruck. You don't have to jump out of the way. Its up to the South Africans to DRIVE him off which Vermeulen does.

Then, he is just on his arse to the side. The ball is sitting there on the other side of the ruck, where the scrum half picks it up. He is interfering with nothing other than Greyling's elbow.

There is absolutely nothing that you wouldn't see at 50% of rucks in a game. But that's okay. You can keep up your McCaw fetish, that way you won't notice that the AB's best ball pilferer is Andrew Hore.

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JG September 17, 2012 11:01 pm

Why am I not surprised that a Frenchie is defending thuggery.

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RastaJesus September 20, 2012 5:17 pm

Not defending thuggery, just criticizing McCaw. It is a national sport here in France, and we have won the right to do it.

Although McCaw is a really good player it is right that he is often offside on rucks.
The sad thing on this story is that, being such a good player, he doesn't need to cheat that much to be brilliant on the pitch.

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peter September 17, 2012 12:42 pm

One thing is not to see, another thing is to see and recommend this.
It's hard to make tough decisions! But clearly a red here...
Poor decision/recomendation by Mr. Poite.

Let's see how citing deals with it.

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Anton September 17, 2012 1:14 pm

I remember times when it was tolerated to strike an offside player... then came Richie McCaw

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Jon September 17, 2012 1:17 pm

That's just stupid from Geyling. Mccaw had already been cleared out of the ruck! And to use the forearm like that, way to get yourself sent off.
Cost his team big time. Probably deserves a couple more than two weeks.

Having said that, and I am not trying to justify the ilegal hit, but Mccaw was offside and coming in from an angle that looked like it was from the side. It was also a ruck formed, so he should really have stopped playing the ball.
He does do this alot, and gets away with it, like a good no 7. But the ref should really have penalised him before Greyling hit him.

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Facepalm September 17, 2012 1:30 pm

As mindless as this was (and it was very mindless), if it was the other way round we would not be seeing a 2 week suspension. I'm not usually an advocate for the band wagon that all citing commisioners hate South Africans but on this occasion it seems that way.

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matt September 17, 2012 6:29 pm

Are you saying he's been hard done by with a two week suspension?

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paimoe September 18, 2012 2:21 pm


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Facepalm September 18, 2012 3:42 pm

I think I badly phrased that last comment. Two weeks is probably right, maybe slightly harsh. The main point is that Richie McCaw would not of received any kind of ban if he had done the same to Greyling.

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yeahbruv November 13, 2012 7:02 am

McCaw is one of the best players of the game today. The thing is he would never of been such an idiot in the first place to put him in such a situation as to needed to be looked at for suspension. Unless you have some valid evidence to back up your stupid statement then go ahead, say what you want but you do not.
Yet Adam Thompson who made a stupid foot to head with a man who was lying all over the ball and did not do it to hurt the player just to trying make him get the idea that he needs to move got yellow carded with a 4-5 week suspension, not as bad of an offense as Greyling's yet a worst punishment.

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claudio714 September 17, 2012 8:15 pm

Such a big frustration... Mc caw was touching the ball while on his arse, referees are far too generous to him. My mate Dean now is getting fined & suspended. Also taking the blame of a loss? unfair!

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JG September 18, 2012 12:46 am

Have a look at Habana, he sees the whole thing and does not look impressed. Not sure what he said to Greyling, but sure it wasn't nice.

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Izzy September 18, 2012 5:38 am

Richie McCaw just does? what a flanker is supposed to do, every flanker does it, it's just that richie does it better than the rest. If he was on the losing team all the time nobody would even care about him..

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stroudos September 18, 2012 8:28 am

Interesting to see that the replay at 1:28 is actually of the Vermuelen cleanout and even that looks brutal! Cleared Offside Rich out with his head, not entirely dissimilar, to be honest, from a headfirst clearout that saw Bakkies "Biff from Back To The Future" Botha banned a year or two ago. In real time it looked totally legit and I think his intention was clean enough. Just amazing to see how hard you can smash McCaw in the face - twice - without leaving a mark.

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katman September 18, 2012 11:21 am

Can we go easy on all the McCaw manlove here. We get it - he's tough and rugged and everything a man wants in a man. But enough is enough.

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UpandAway September 19, 2012 12:52 am

Should have been a red card for Greyling............ also should have been a longer ban......... if he'd broken Richie's jaw (impossible I know) then would two weeks have been ok? Poor officiating both on and off the pitch.

Vermuelen was also lucky that he didn't get pinged for attacking McCaw's head......... but rucks are tough places to be when you're trying to disrupt the ball so I can see why it was let go.

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stroudos September 19, 2012 2:09 pm

@katman You can't stop the McCaw manlove mate. I hear his jokes repertoire is also amazing and he's always the first to get a round in at the pub too.

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katman September 19, 2012 2:59 pm

Ha ha, maybe that’s true. I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed on the first date, that’s all.

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Guest September 20, 2012 3:14 am

Again, another example of disgraceful sportsmanship by a South African rugby player. Ban should've been a lot longer - lets make an example of this continual poor play. Second ZAF player in as many weeks to be banned for 2 weeks. Regardless of whether RM was in the wrong (he plys his trade very well) this behaviour is not part of our game. We all love a good clearout, but it's got to be a legal one.

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BoksKick September 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Fact is McCaw - once again - was disrupting the ball illegally and being a nuisance. Those are not my words, those are the words of Justin Marshall (the commentator) who I should remind some of you was McCaw's teammate for years for Canterbury and the All Blacks at number 9. He has had a more up close view than anybody of McCaw's antics at the breakdown over the years.

All of that said, those of us that have been around for a while know that McCaw continually gets away with it so it's time to work around that unfortunate reality. As for Greyling:
- he came in offside
- he left his feet
- led with his arm
- he aimed for McCaw's head.
A valid yellow - no contest. The subsequent suspension was stupid but that is more a function of the citing process than anything and we all know how broken that is.

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