Bulls lock Bakkies Botha finds himself in hot water yet again following an alleged act of dangerous play on Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage during the Bull’s 23-13 Super Rugby loss at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
No stranger to the citing process, Botha will go through it again as he is set to appear in front of a SANZAR judicial committee on Tuesday to determine his fate. If found guilty of the offence, his disciplinary record will no doubt mean that he’ll face a lengthy period out of the game.
Interestingly, Referee Keith Brown – as well as his assistant referees – viewed the clearing out of Duvenage as nothing out of the ordinary, in what was a typically physical South African derby. Botha played on, and as you can see in the clip, attempted a similar clearout at the next ruck.
The citing only came later from SANZAR. Botha has been pulled up under
law 10.4 (e)
which refers to dangerous tackling specifically, and includes a line that says
Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play.
It’s a very similar incident to the one we saw between Botha and Adam Jones on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa. The common perception with that one was that it was a harsh call. The difference here perhaps is that Botha continued on, driving down onto the much smaller Duvenage in a dangerous manner.
Luckily the nuggety scrumhalf wasn’t badly injured from it, and continued on to take the Man of the Match award in what was a big win for the Stormers at fort Loftus Versfeld.
Botha has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The not guilty verdict makes him free to play this coming weekend, against the Lions in Super Rugby.
The Judicial Officer, Jannie Lubbe SC, after careful consideration of the video evidence, the referees report, the citing commissioners report, Bothas testimony and submissions by Bothas legal representative, Gerrie Swart, concluded that he was not satisfied on the balance of probability that Bothas action was in breach of Law 10.4 (e). The case was accordingly dismissed.
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