Springboks Burger and Botha cited as Lions lose brutal second Test
TWO South African forwards will face disciplinary hearings today after being cited for alleged foul play following yesterday's second Test victory over the British and Irish Lions at Loftus Versfeld.
Flanker Schalk Burger has been reported for allegedly making contact with the eye area of Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald. Lock Bakkies Botha, meanwhile, has been reported for a dangerous charge on Lions prop Adam Jones early in the second half.
Both players must now attend hearings in Pretoria, when they could be banned ahead of next Saturday's third Test against the Lions in Johannesburg.
Burger was fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after the alleged incident involving Fitzgerald. It happened just 32 seconds into the game, but Burger was able to return after spending the regulation ten minutes in the sin-bin.
Fitzgerald believes Burger should have been sent off. "It's quite a strange decision," the Irishman said. "If the referee decided that's what he was going to card him for then it should have been a red.
"I guess part of it was because it was at the start of the game and he didn't want to spoil it as a spectacle. But you'd want to feel that the referee would deal with something like that quite severely. I was surprised that someone of Burger's quality would have done something like that."
South Africa head coach Peter De Villiers disagreed, insisting Burger did not even deserve a yellow card.
"I don't think it should have been a card at all," he said.
"For me and for everybody, this is sport. This is what it is all about. This is great. If everything is clear cut in this environment we are in, we shouldn't try to prepare even.
"What people think and what people say to us is their opinion and we honour their opinion but it doesn't mean we all agree with it."
Munster flanker Alan Quinlan, an original Lions selection for their South African tour, received a 12-week ban for a similar offence during a Heineken Cup semi-final last month.
The citing of both players has taken the gloss off South Africa's 28-25 victory, which secured a Test series victory with a game to spare. It was Burger's 50th cap, and his first appearance of the season for South Africa after recovering from a calf muscle injury.
A game of brutal intensity took its toll on both sides, but especially the Lions.
Prop Jones suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder, while centre Jamie Roberts and wing Tommy Bowe required X-rays on their wrist and elbow respectively, and there are concussion concerns surrounding centre Brian O'Driscoll and prop Gethin Jenkins.
The Burger incident was the second incident of alleged gouging in Test rugby yesterday after Italy captain Sergio Parisse was cited for contact with eye area of All Blacks flanker Isaac Ross. "It seems to be coming into the game," said Fitzgerald.
Lions coach Ian McGeechan was left to rue another lost opportunity after the heartbreaking last-minute defeat. Having lost last week's opener by five points, the Lions looked set to level the three-match series when they deservedly led 19-8 with 17 minutes to play, only for the Springboks to hit back and triumph 28-25 with Morne Steyn's 80th-minute penalty from inside his own half.
"I've just said to the guys that I'm incredibly proud of them and that they did not deserve to be 2-0 down; today was a tremendous performance," McGeechan said.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West