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James Haskell's wasp related banter


Joe Marler and his unsual pets


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Huge crunching tackle on USA club rugby


Biggest punches & worst fights in France

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wing JP Pietersen's big tackle on Eighthman David Denton

Springbok winger JP Pietersen marked his 50th Test by finishing off a fantastic try and making a thumping hit on Scotland number eight Dave Denton. Pietersen then got a bit overzealous and rubbed Denton's face in the dirt, quite literally.

Some fans and pundits weren’t amused by what he did, saying it was unsportsmanlike and a bit dirty. Others viewed it as simply a bit of gamesmanship, questioning why some are so sensitive in a sport that fundimentally involves getting the better of your opponents physically.

The tackle itself was perfect. It was a rare chance for Scotland but Pietersen ushered Denton towards the touchline then went in and smashed him. It wasn’t the first knock the South African schooled Scotland number eight took, as Fourie Du Preez also levelled him earlier in the game.

To Denton’s credit, in both cases he wasn’t entirely balanced and was there for the taking, and in terms of getting his face shoved into the ground, his non-reaction showed class.

If anything Pietersen let himself down a bit by doing that, a bit like Delon Armitage and George North did when they wagged their fingers at hapless defenders. It's not ideal and crosses the line a little, but the players themelves are aware that the excitement of the moment got the better of them. 

The Springboks will be looking for more dominant tackles and performances when they take on France in Paris on Saturday night. They haven't beaten the French in away since 1997, when they won 52-10. The last time the two sides met, in Cape Town in 2010, South Africa won 42-17.

The home side are coming off a solid performance against the All Blacks, where they impressed by nearly sneaking a draw, so will probably fancy their chances of springing an upset.

What was your reaction to the tackle and 'afters' from JP Pietersen?

Posted at 4:46 pm | 78 comments

Fourie du Preez's big tackle on Dave Denton

Willie Le Roux stars as the Springboks beat Scotland

Scrumhalf Frae Wilson smashes lock Jimmy Tupou

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 78 comments

UpTheLowEnd November 22, 2013 4:53 pm

I've only seen him play on a handful of occasions and only on the international circuit but in every game i've seen he's done something which suggests a major attitude problem. Or is this just coincidence?

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Firdoel November 23, 2013 2:27 pm

What Pietersen did is a disgrace to the spirit of the game. Taunting's one thing, here it's about humiliating a man whose team is already in for 30 points to 0. And at the end, this douche will come and shake your hand? I don't think so. I wish him some french love tonight..

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Andre November 25, 2013 10:43 am

Ag please , grow some.............

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Javier November 22, 2013 4:55 pm

Denton he has to be a really good guy. Because if Pietersen does that to me or one of my team mates he does not finish the match.

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Greg November 22, 2013 6:21 pm

Whenever I've seen him in town and have 'bumped' into him he's an absolute arrogant c*ck... "are you going to apologise for that?"... "do you not know who I am".... He deserved it. Like Peter de Villiers, want to put on some tutu's and dance around like fairies too? It's a bit of fun and enjoys the moment!

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Guy November 25, 2013 12:43 pm

So how often do you accidentally bump into the same person normally?

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Alasdairh November 22, 2013 4:59 pm

Too many "nice guys" in the Scotland shirt, he should have been thumped, either straight away or in the next tackle, ruck situation.

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Will November 22, 2013 5:01 pm

I just like the wide berth he gives Denton after he gets up.

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Gazza November 22, 2013 5:02 pm

Cant help but think that the face in dirt rubbing was as a result of an earlier incident. It had the smell of revenge about it.

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nzbougnat November 22, 2013 6:13 pm

I haven't seen the full game so can only speculate here. But I agree it does very much look like revenge. This would also explain why Denton is not retaliating (i.e., saw it coming?).
Regardless, fantastic covering tackle by JPP!

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Jimothy November 25, 2013 8:52 pm

Please explain. What did Denton do? I didn't see the whole game...

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stereo_mike November 22, 2013 5:04 pm

Its both good and bad, I'm favour of a bit of attitude and agression it means that next time he carrys and hes your man you bury him in the tackle. As long as they can both shake hands at the end of the game what does it matter.

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argie November 22, 2013 5:04 pm

jp is a very bad guy mala leche why he put his hand in the head of the number 8, senatore was ban for 9 weeks and the black guy, and all the south african are very bad attitude players

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barry November 22, 2013 5:05 pm

One Saffa greeting another.

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dan November 22, 2013 5:17 pm

South Africans are complete d****heads about little head shoves, little strangles, little eye gouges, great team, but stupid violent team.

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New and Improved November 24, 2013 4:08 pm

Generalise much?

Every team has those kind of players.

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DrG November 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Not saying I agree with him, but some teams have more of those types of players than others...

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William Web Ellis November 24, 2013 9:24 pm

Great team, who physically intimidate their opponents to get the psychological upper hand. Your reaction is exactly what they want mate.

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Badge November 22, 2013 5:17 pm

The tackle spoke for itself on this occasion, no need for the extra bit of sauce on the end. Kudos to Denton for keeping such a cool head, albeit it being run into the mud not two seconds prior to him standing up and laughing it off.

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Ruggerz November 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Wow respect to Denton for not reacting to that bullshit. That's just not necessary and should have got a punishment of some sort.

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c November 22, 2013 5:21 pm

un-sportsman like conduct. The match officials need to get wise to that and penalise him every time. Revenge is just an indication of poor temperament, cant handle what he likes to dish out, and a liability to his team. Bin him!

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katman November 22, 2013 7:27 pm

Really? Bin him? The biggest threat to this game is the attitude of people like you. Luckily the tackled player didn't seem to share your delicate approach to rugby.

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matt November 24, 2013 5:02 pm

I don't think it is a delicate approach at all, there are rules to this game, and when you don't follow them as blatantly and as willingly as Pieterson I think you should be made an example of.

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Canadian content November 24, 2013 5:15 pm

Here's the thing about what JP did, it can easily cause a massive brawl and perhaps the Scots would have been rightfully justified in reacting with some physical indignation to that. For that reason, and for sportsmanship, there should have been at least a penalty awarded to the scots. Now before all you tough guys out there start belittling me, think about it. How many tackles are made in a game? How many periods of contact occur? 100's? Could you imagine if every time someone got the best of their opponent they rubbed their face in the mud? There'd be league brawls every few minutes!

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redwan_ November 22, 2013 5:28 pm

Good tackle by Pieterson, well done Denton for not rising to the immature face-rub. All this does is take away from Pieterson's tackle and makes him look like a childish idiot.

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Nick November 22, 2013 5:49 pm

Suck it up, ladies. A little face wash never hurt anyone.

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Sam November 22, 2013 6:08 pm

Nothing less expected from a SA player. Bad attitude and technically a poor tackle.

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Badge November 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Show us how it's done chief.

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Seth November 25, 2013 12:44 am

Sam is right. Jp got the job done, and it was a hell of a hit, but his head was on the wrong side.

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DrG November 22, 2013 6:16 pm

Great tackle by Pieterson, sadly thats where it ends, I'd have had great respect for JP for just that tackle, but the afters just make him look like the Wanker Armitage brother.

Credit to Denton for keeping his cool, or perhaps credit to the coaching staff for reinforcing the importance of discipline. Sadly I doubt I'd have enough self restraint, I'd have probably battered (or attempted to batter) that little shite and sadly it would be me that would end up getting sent off.

Again to echo what others have said, I think it's important that officials pick up on this kind of faggotry. In the days gone by they're be a scrap and it would probably only end with a penalty at most, now someone does something like that and there is no instant retribution.

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Brumbies Fan November 22, 2013 6:21 pm

I think it is disgraceful. They are not thugs playing rugby league. The scots should have decked him for that!

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backrovern November 22, 2013 6:51 pm

Unsportsmanlike? Yep. But if a wing clobbers a #8 like that he's earned the right to a little dig and Denton did the right thing by doing nothing.

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katman November 22, 2013 7:33 pm

Is this Rugbydump or the Concerned Mom's Forum? I've never seen such indignant huff over absolutely nothing. He rubbed his face in the grass. Anybody who thinks this was anything more than playful gamesmanship needs to reconsider what they want from a contact sport. Seriously guys, if that's what you are...

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Benny November 22, 2013 8:58 pm

Can you imagine if that was McCaw/Cooper instead of Denton/JPP. There would be total chaos on this site and Quade might have his kiwi passport revoked! :)

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cheyanqui November 22, 2013 9:48 pm

Well, if he did this to Dan Carter, the Citing Commissioner would have already issued a 1 match suspension.

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DrG November 22, 2013 9:00 pm

Yeh whats a little poke in the bum for fun.. John Hopoate...

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Cheis November 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Great tackle, not to worried about the little push by pietersen after. He shouldn't do it, but hey, it's a physical sport, get over it.
Not like he's tip-tackling or shoulder-sharging into rucks. Too much hassle over something so small...

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Cheis November 22, 2013 7:36 pm

@ katman
I agree!!

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Craig November 22, 2013 8:54 pm

As a Scot I was pissed off by that tackle.
The head in the dirt was not called for especially as the tackle was a clear 1 up for the winger.Players have long memories though and I can't wait to see that a...hole get smashed by a Scotland player next time.

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New and Improved November 24, 2013 12:00 pm

And that's the nature of the game. I'm 99% sure he won't lose it if or when he gets smashed next time.

Grow a pair....

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Eddie-g November 22, 2013 9:06 pm

Well said, Katman.

Look, everyone has different mileage on gamesmanship, but no-one can seriously argue that something like this or George North's wave or the Splashdown or whatever presents a threat to the game.

Somewhat douchey thing to do? Yes. Such an outrage that we now need the IRB to intervene? For heaven's sake, grow up.

Hats off though to Denton, not taking the bait, some things on a rugby field you just shrug off.

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Jeri November 22, 2013 9:20 pm

Not a major crime against rugby or anything but definitely a poor instance of character. As was mentioned by another user, the appropriate response was to just walk away - which Denton did.

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cheyanqui November 22, 2013 9:47 pm

Just seems to be endemic in certain teams and certain nations. Funny how JdV is a class act 99.999999% of the time, but several of his teammates live for this junk.

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Henri November 22, 2013 10:31 pm

I kinda cringed when I saw this. I can't see a player like Habana ever do this. Really childish. Then conveniently stands up and away from Denton. Wasn't the tackle good enough for ya?

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Jeri November 23, 2013 6:07 am

Let him take away whatever trophy he felt he earned from that particular physical encounter. We could all see who actually came away the bigger man.

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djmzie November 23, 2013 1:27 pm

The bigger man got smashed silly by a smaller one, and was on the winning team - leaving the home team scoreless. But good sportmanship from Denton though - didn't throw his handbag. Or was still shaken up by the collision.

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Surhud November 23, 2013 12:32 am

What Pietersen did might be ok in an American Football game but not in Rugby. He should have been cited.

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HeavyHooker November 23, 2013 12:36 am

The thing that makes me upset at this is the fact that the score in itself was humiliating enough. This was just a real show of poor sportsmanship. I look at the IRB handbook for and see what the principles are: Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and RESPECT and see that this player pretty much showed the total opposite. Rugby is a tough game, true, but this is not what we should be showing to the youth as any way to treat another player, especially when the game was so one sided. Disgraceful

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Hutcho November 23, 2013 1:11 am

To me if a nber 8 is running at a winger full tilt and you smash him
Into touch like that you'd be buzzing. A little bit if afters doesn't hurt. I'm a winger and I've had this happen to me when a back row player nobbled me. At the end of the day he's just saying you can come my way all day and this is what will happen. It's a psychological edge more than anything. I didn't see the game but did Denton run at JP again in the game?

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dave November 25, 2013 1:14 am

isn't the winger smashing the number 8 enough of a kick in the nuts that he doesn't need to rub his face in the mud as well?

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DrG November 23, 2013 1:38 am

I actually agree with many of you that it's pathetic that we think the IRB should intervene. What is more pathetic however is how a player is protected and somewhat encouraged (by lack of intervention) to behave like JP did.

Like I said up there, if we could revert to the old days (not even THAT OLD really!) and have Denton stand up and belt JP only to have the referee just award a penalty then no one would ask for IRB intervention. The fact remains though that if Denton HAD reacted, he could well find himself sitting out the rest of the game, hence my point about players being protected and encouraged to behave like anuses(?)...ani(?)... idk, whatever the plural is...

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TotesMcGoates November 23, 2013 2:59 am

Great tackle; what happens after isn't worth talking about. Definitely falls into the 'slack' category but it's a non-incident really.

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cheyanqui November 23, 2013 4:13 am

if we as a rugby community allow this to build up, we'll turn into gridiron or rugby league... eventually standing over players and sledging while they're out cold from concussion.

in the old days, players like JPP would be self-policed -- a good stamping at the next ruck comes to mind

but with professionalism, the only way to stamp this out is with fines or sanctions.

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dave November 23, 2013 6:06 am

He deserved a slap. Great tackel but ....

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Rob November 23, 2013 8:43 am

Maybe doing it at the start of the game when the adrenaline's pumping and you want to dominate the opponent early on, but this was at the end of the game with the game already won by a huge margin. To do it then is the sign of a massive knob

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katman November 23, 2013 10:41 am

You never see this kind of shocking brutality in synchronised swimming. Maybe a couple of you should give that a try for a while?

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DrG November 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Katman do you read other posts or only what you want to read?

Many have actually said the only reason they feel this shit SHOULD be policed is because the ability for players to self police has been taken out of the game. If Denton can't get up and clock the little prick/shoe him in the next ruck/rough him up etc without risk of being sent off, then his hands are tied and these petty little pathetic actions will become a constant in every game.

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Alasdairh November 23, 2013 12:59 pm

I'm not so much annoyed by Pietersen's action but by Denton's lack of reaction. I mean, I've done that, I've had that done and it usualy doesn't stop there. You should always give back what you take. Legaly is better, illegally if you can getway with it.

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alasdairh November 23, 2013 1:00 pm

I've had that done on me#

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Oliver November 23, 2013 1:00 pm

all you guys making a big deal out of "it's a winger taking out a number 8!" should realize that A, this is not your local team playing and B, it's 2013.
Wingers at that level aren't thin and fast anymore. They're huge and fast. Pietersen himself is 1,90 m and close to 100 kilos.....

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djmzie November 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Yes. Us Saffas are seen as violent dirty players - the truth is most players are just like any other fellows one could meet at a pub or restuarant. As for the tackle - superb. The hand in the face - it wouldn't be rugby if the wasn't any sucker-shots. It was uncool, but things like this happen in an aggression-filled contact sport. Big hits wouldn't exist if players were filled with estrogen. All players have done done this at least 5 times in their careers. Man up.

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djmzie November 23, 2013 1:36 pm

Hand on head, rubbed into grass - less than 20cm away. What harm did JP do to Denton? It was the tackle. Perhaps people feel sorry for Denton because he secretly wanted to play for the Boks.

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nanzonovo November 23, 2013 3:38 pm

it does not surprise me, arrogance and dirty or unsportsmanlike play has always been the hallmark of the springbok players. To end this behaviour review the game cite any player and ban them from playing for a week or so. The French used to be the same but have cleaned up their game while the Springboks have not. I doubt the French will have a chance against the Springboks but hope that it is a game worthy of mention like their valiant efforts against the All Blacks in the first game of the European tour.

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wolonel November 24, 2013 2:55 am

Hero to spa in 0.5 seconds. That's pretty quick

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semperfimamba November 24, 2013 3:03 am

Wow a bit of vitriol for this silly little push, some of you think you're still watching social rugga on sundays with the after game drinks, this is professionalism at its core hard unforgiving and you know what take a little face rub...next time dont come down my channel son.

And FYI - NFL is pretty good to watch - some of you should give it a try sometime, showboating is no longer allowed but a lil extra to the defensive/offensive line is always appreciated. If you want fair go watch your sons school matches...ladies.

Men grow a pair damn.

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ruppansy November 24, 2013 4:07 am

I couldn't agree more. It was an awesome tackle, JP was proud and wanted to send a message. Hell, looks like he may have been responding to an earlier message by Denton. A little face rub is simply the cherry on the sundae. Denton was effectively humiliated by JP in that tackle and knew it, which was why he didn't respond. JP got the better of him and handbags weren't going to accomplish anything.

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klausotto November 24, 2013 11:36 am

I just wonder if Denton has made any anti south African comment in the press, or was trying to wind up players on the pitch. I remember SA players tripping over each other to nail mike catt.

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dave November 25, 2013 1:16 am

when was this? and how come they wanted a go at mike catt? he seems like a nice guy

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FetchingFly November 25, 2013 8:06 am

Whenever Catt played SA as he's South African - one of the many that has played/is playing for other countries.

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Nicolas November 24, 2013 6:28 pm

A great tackle but the face rub is like a cherry of s*it on a great and delicious cake!!!
This player should understand the responsibility that it's supposed for a sports star...if not the rugby will become as football (soccer).

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doc November 24, 2013 9:31 pm

No harm intended in the face shove, and none done. Just a friendly reminder who won the contact situation. Whether the team was being beaten 30-0 or not means nothing. It was not about humiliation it was about showing who is boss in a one on one situation. Pieterson is saying to Denton, "don't try that again." I don't condone his behaviour but don't think it deserved any punishment.

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mago November 25, 2013 2:10 am

I like how for a lot of people this is okay, but celebrating tries soccer-style is a bit too much...

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Kevro November 25, 2013 5:30 am

I'm a South African and bok fan and when I saw the face in the dirt rub, I felt a little bit of shame. Full credit to the Scottish No8 for not reacting.

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Andre November 25, 2013 10:46 am

What a bunch of pantsys!!!!! It is rugby not ballet!!!

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Colombes November 25, 2013 11:59 am

perfect cover tackle of JP
perfect ridicule reaction of JP

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Bootsy November 25, 2013 2:29 pm

Rugby players, like sportsmen and women whatever their activity, have a responsibility to uphold the standards of the game for themselves, their teams, the integrity of the sport and as a benchmark to children.

Yes it was a good hit, not technically perfect by any means, but effective. The face-rub was petty but spiteful and completely needless.

So what example does this set? Kids - once you've done completed the tackle and the whistle has gone / flag has been raised, make sure you get a cheap shot in for good measure - after all that's how the pros do it.

All this 'heat of moment' stuff is an excuse not a reason. People do react sometimes to provocation, but there was none of that here Pietersen knew full well what he was doing.

I agree that since it went unpunished on the pitch the IRB should make an example of him and give him a one match ban. The community game can't throw its hands up when children start behaving like playground bullies if the governing body turns a blind eye to it.

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DrG November 26, 2013 9:53 am

I mentioned it up there, but John Hopoate probably thought sticking his finger in another players arse wasn't a big deal. Just a bit of adrenaline, and hey, grow a pair guys, it's not like Hopoate nearly killed the guy is it!!!

If we let JP's actions slide why shouldn't we let others go?

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Eyetiebok November 27, 2013 10:58 am

I'm a huge Bok supporter - but more than that, I am a rugby supporter. This was not rugby. This was an embarrassment to rugby and to the good Bok name. We pride ourselves in being different from football - because after a superb tackle like this, we would resort to picking the player up as a mark of respect. Rubbing his face in the dirt is savage, loutish behaviour that tarnishes the game of rugby. Pietersen should be banned for 2 or 3 games. End of.

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