Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bok victory marred by three week suspension for Du Plessis

bismarck du plessis adam thomsonThe Springboks historic victory over the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday night has been marred by the three week suspension of hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, the replacement for injured captain John Smit.

Du Plessis, filling in for Smit, who will be sitting out the rest of the Tri Nations after being injured during the first test, was cited for making contact with the eyes of All Black flanker Adam Thomson.

The abrasive hooker was cited by citing commissioner Dick Byres under Law 10.4 (k), for contact with the eyes or eye area. SANZAR judiciary commissioner Kim Garling found the Springbok had not intentionally made contact with the eye though.

Du Plessis acknowledged his fist had come into contact with Thomson’s lower cheek and then his left hand knuckle appeared to come into contact with Thomson’s face near the eye area, but did not come into contact with his eye. Video footage showed there was no visible mark to Thomson’s face as a result of this contact.

Du Plessis conceded the carelessness of his actions at the first available opportunity when the matter came before the Judiciary and had shown regret for his actions. His legal representative argued that the contact, while careless, was not deliberate.

Garling agreed with the submission but said any action in which a player’s fingers, hand, or a knuckle comes into contact with the eye or eye area of a another player was very serious.

He was cleared of gouging, but was found guilty of careless conduct and subsequently suspended for three weeks.

With Smit at home and Du Plessis now suspended, it means that exciting Stormers hooker Schalk Brits will leap to number one and more than likely start against the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday. Young Cheetahs hooker Adrian Strauss will fly over as backup to Brits.

Over to you: One week suspension for Brad Thorn. Three weeks suspension for Du Plessis. Is this consistent, or does the citing process have a long way to go before being perfect? We want to hear your thoughts, as obviously there's been a mixed reaction to both incidents' outcomes.



  • He must have french origins ^^ (je blague).
    Well after all the fuss with Imanol a few posts back, it just shows that any player can be stupid, but guess what I'd rather come out of a game with a black eye rather than having lost an eye...the guy tries to put the thumb in and that's just nuts.

    By Blogger jay, at July 14, 2008 12:54 pm  

  • thorn was handed one-week ban and du plessis got three weeks? ridiculous

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at July 14, 2008 1:27 pm  

  • minstrel BOY - let me pick you up and drop you on your back then once you get up and dust yourself off, lie back down and let me put my thumb in your eye and grind my fist in it for a few seconds - we'll see what's worse then.

    After that you can tell me what is and isn't ridiculous.

    You don't play the game boy so shut your mouth jabroni.

    By Anonymous minstrel man, at July 14, 2008 1:40 pm  

  • that wasn't worth a 3 week suspension. I'd say a week would be enough.

    By Anonymous samitarugby, at July 14, 2008 1:44 pm  

  • Deserved to be punished, but three weeks is a bit harsh considering there was no permanent (or even temporary) damage to Thomsons face or eye, and it lasted all of 2 seconds.

    Stupid and punishable yes, three weeks no. That's the way I saw it anyway.

    By Anonymous Benson, at July 14, 2008 1:51 pm  

  • not worth three weeks as the alleged eye gouge was pretty feeble. supposedly thorn only got a week due to past good behaviour. does du plessis usually have poor behaviour or was that just a weak excuse to be bias toward an all black player (which would surprise me to be honest)

    By Anonymous ben, at July 14, 2008 2:14 pm  

  • Yeah crazy getting three weeks, Even Thompson didn't seem to bothered by it, he wasnt looking for a penalty reversal he just got up and carried on the game like a rugby player should..Ban him for a game and get on with it..

    By Blogger Chris, at July 14, 2008 2:26 pm  

  • In relation to the 3 weeks vs 1 week thing they were both banned for one round of the competition so the actual time period doesn't matter. I think that's fair enough because, in my opinion, both offences were dirty play without being seriously dangerous.

    By Blogger pcasey, at July 14, 2008 2:29 pm  

  • now schalk britz is joining the team....lucky guy. i remember jake white saying he wouldnt play him because britz said he would move abroad if his talent wasnt appreciated, guess hes a bit of a big head so lucky PDV is around now!

    ben, du plessis doesnt have a rep, or iv never heard of him being involved in anything. he is one of those devout christian characters, not really in the brad thorn school of hardman.

    imo it just seems like a bit of frustration. lets also bit this into context, the whole black eye or being dropped on your back over a lost eye is ridiculous. du plessis was never going to use enough force to gauge his eye out, everyone whos played has probably had it its just one of those little niggles that doesnt hurt its just annoying - stop overreacting. secondly being punched in the eye could ruin your eye as well, and being dropped on your back could paralyse you, its all relative. anything could be dangerous, so lets not get too carried away, for once please!
    deserved suspension for stupidity if what pcasey says is true and its only really a one game suspension basically

    By Anonymous caucau's no.1 fan, at July 14, 2008 2:54 pm  

  • deserved

    By Anonymous a, at July 14, 2008 2:56 pm  

  • pcasey is correct, but it seems as though that's purely coincidental. The citing commissioner would have known what's coming up next, therefore giving him three weeks is in theory saying that his actions are worse than Thorns, therefore get a more severe punishment.

    Another thing, taking this into account, why not just give match suspensions instead of week suspensions? Bit silly really.

    By Anonymous Sharky, at July 14, 2008 3:00 pm  

  • Just my opinion but I think the second incident is worse. To me the Thorn throw was a bit of wrestling whereas Du Plessis went for a guys face when he couldn't defend himself. I go into a game of rugby expecting physicality and some push and shove (even after the whistle sometimes I suppose) but going for the face / eyes is just wrong.

    By Anonymous iain, at July 14, 2008 3:06 pm  

  • +1 to Ian's comments above.
    I do think that going for the face is bad, and that’s that. But that’s not the issue in my opinion - its intent, not if it actually hurt him, which comes second. And for fucks sake why the hell are we dealing suspensions in week/s? Just dish it out in matches – so suspended for one match or five games or fucking forever? God it pisses me off! That’s why we’re having this argument in the first place.. Effectively they both got one match suspensions anyway! If we just have a universal system that deals suspensions by the match then this sort of shit would be sorted!

    Robbie - AUS

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 14, 2008 3:30 pm  

  • minstrel man... obviously thorn's spear tackle was far more mallicious than Bismark's incident...
    Smit has just undergone surgery on his groin because of Thorn's antics and is out for the rest of the tri nations...
    can you really be so ignorant as to say that a little thumb in the face is worth 3 weeks suspension in comparison to what thorn did?
    wake up man.
    i think the citing comissioners need to get their fingers out and start showing some consitancy.

    By Blogger prawnit, at July 14, 2008 3:33 pm  

  • Yeah Robbie, exactly what I was saying. It makes no sense.

    Oh and, I just wanted to say, as a proud Saffa, this is embarrassing. Whether it was to be 1 or 3 weeks, why does there always have to be one mug who manages to cross the line of fair play? :(
    We play the game hard, with physical intensity but can't shrug off the dirty reputation, and it's because of incidents like this.

    By Anonymous Sharky, at July 14, 2008 3:54 pm  

  • Whatever happened to chilliboy?

    By Blogger Will Topps, at July 14, 2008 5:24 pm  

  • hahahahahaha!
    you know what i mean, hes one of those do gooder types, be nice to the world type of guys, which is why its a bit strange he did that but oh well!
    basing this on interviews iv seen and matches iv watched him play in, i dont know 100% he may be Hitler's reincarnation, he just seems like the typical nice guy.
    comparing brad thorn and du plessis is like comparing the two guys from blades of glory

    By Anonymous caucau's no.1 fan, at July 14, 2008 5:25 pm  

  • Wasn't an eyegouges crack. He was giving him a bit of 'who's your father'. To Thompsons credit there was no b*tching or moaning - because Bismarck wasn't going for his eye. I don't like dirty play, but there was nothing in this - like 'eye' said - no gouge!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 14, 2008 5:40 pm  

  • I feel personally that Du Plessis' is much more likely to be incidental than Thorn's incident. The fact of the matter is that in a ruck, shit happens and that though it was careless, three weeks is entirely too much. Especially considering the fact that Thorn's incident was clearly malicious and a good 3 seconds after the whistle causing a tour ending injury. I don't understand how the committee do not see that Thorn's actions are worse if not equal to Du Plessis'. At the very least I would want to see both players banned for the same amount of time, but to triple Du Plessis' charge is ludicrous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 14, 2008 5:42 pm  

  • if bismarch had a black shirt, he wouldve gotten 1 week or less!!

    By Anonymous Cheis, at July 14, 2008 5:44 pm  

  • Will Topps.. Chilliboy is injured.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at July 14, 2008 5:54 pm  

  • It does not look that bad the second time around cos i saw it live. The head of the SA rfu has a point about the TV producers roles in this though, they can choose 2 show what they want.

    By Anonymous martin-offload, at July 14, 2008 7:35 pm  

  • It looks more like a punch/shove to me than an attempted gouge - what with the use of a closed fist and the amount of pressure put on the cheek. Regardless of this though he made contact with the eyes and they are an extremely vulnerable area, which is why the governing bodies are highly punitive with such actions. It may have been accidental but the easiest way to avoid it is to not have your hands anywhere near - in Rugby there is no point where you can legitimately handle an opponent above the shoulders (although 2nd up tacklers are being allowed to get away with appaling things in the form of throttling drags to the floor, in my opinion).

    Thorn's behaviour looked more malicious, and the result of it was much more severe - so in my opinion a one match ban was quite weak - It's not like he could use the usual argument that he lost control of the person he was tackling and tipped him up. He purposefully did something knowingly illegal after the play had finished. Something very similar happened to Brent Cockbain in a test against NZ a few years ago too and if I recall correctly the opposing player saw yellow.

    By Blogger Toby, at July 14, 2008 8:21 pm  

  • Du Plessis takes no prisoners and I would play him ahead of John Smit, any day of the week! If anyone watched the buildup game ahead of the world cup where they played some kak Irish side, he knocked some unlucky guy the fuck out. He didn't get a suspension for that, but he gets a 3 weeks suspension for rubbing Thompson's face?

    If Bakkies picked up Andrew Whore and dumped him that would have been a red card and another 6 weeks suspension, I have no doubt about it!

    The match official is properly one of those poor Aus refs / commissioners who so dearly want to make their mark on the game! They do dish up some poor quality refs now a days...

    BEN!!, you will burn in hell my friend! Stop being a PO#S!

    By Anonymous Bensemasewap, at July 14, 2008 9:02 pm  

  • Minstrel man, maybe someone poked your one eye out cos there was absolutley no gauging what so ever. He basically ground his face with his fist, a mild form of punch really. So if i was to be dumped on my head and have to sit out 6 games or be "poked" in the eye and run away unscathed i would choose...well...um...dah! (both should have got a one week supsension, although Thorn should have got a red and then been able to play in Dunedin where he was sorely missed.

    By Anonymous just a fan..., at July 14, 2008 9:17 pm  

  • prawnit and just a fan, maybe you're confused. I'm not condoning either actions they're both illegal and deserve punishment.

    "Noon's tackle on Marty"
    - A dump tackle, has the same impact as Thorn but no card or claim of a spear.

    "Michalak's tackle on Skrela"
    - 2 spear tackles by definition with more impact and danger than Thorn or Noon examples but no cards or penalties either.

    So from the above no injuries, no citing, no penalty, no cards, no outcry and no black shirts to let off the hook as insinuated by some on here.

    Thorn was penalised, cited and suspended for a match which in the context of supposed dump and spear tackles illustrated above and the fact it was after the whistle i think is fair enough. Stupid of Thorn to react to Smit pushing on his head anyway, testosterone flying all over the place and this would've been used in his defence seeing as it was the opening 5mins of the match.

    Du Plessis is GOING for his eye, whether its with a thumb, a fist or one of his ballbags it doesn't matter. It's not a reaction to anything Thomson did to him just a straight target to niggle under the cover of a ruck, it happens all the time in every grade this idiot just got caught red-fisted on camera haha.

    On the Du Plessis incident:
    Prawnit - "Little thumb in the face"
    Just a fan - "He basically ground his face with his fist a mild form of punch"

    So what was his defence at the hearing?
    "Er, um Thomson (the tackler) was trying to steal our ball and once we'd cleared him out I found myself next to the AB b*stard so I thought i'd give a little bit of 'how's your father' and welcome him to Bokke rugby with the good old eye treatment, you know that mild form of punch with my fist or a little thumb in the face and all under the security of the ruck and pile of bodies...but, um, yeah, I forgot about the cameras...sorry mum!"

    Thorn's defence:
    "We got pinged for a high shot by Thomson, i joined the ruck just as the whistle blew, felt someone pushing my big melon into the ground to wind me up as they tried to get off me (couldn't see who it was at this stage) in the heat of the moment I decided to teach this smart-arse a lesson and sit him on his backside. I know I shouldn't have reacted like that - it was all the testosterone flying about the place! Mind you if it wasn't for the adrenaline too I wouldn't have been able to pick up Smitty like that, I think he's been tucking into a few of those pain-au-chocolats' after training over in froggy land, wada you reckon?!"


    By Anonymous minstrel man, at July 15, 2008 1:19 am  

  • uhhhhh shit, we dont have a hooker!!!

    By Anonymous MrClutchCLEVERismyhero, at July 15, 2008 3:15 am  

  • Deserved
    Brad Thorn prob deserved 2 in my opinion

    By Anonymous Brennie, at July 15, 2008 3:25 am  

  • To me, it doesnt look like he has an open fist, so i reckon hes just pushing his fist into his face, still is uncalled for and deserves some kind of punishment, but 3 weeks? come on. Thompson wasnt even worried about it, which also proves it wasnt an eye gouge> Ohwel...

    By Blogger Tom, at July 15, 2008 5:21 am  

  • Having a look at that replay, I think he was fortunate that SANZAR decided that it was not intentional. He appears to be looking directly at Thomson as he is doing it, and then applies more pressure to the eye area.

    In any event, three weeks initially seemed to me to be too long, but then I saw the other comments above that it only rules him out for one game.

    Maybe to be consistent, SANZAR ought to have imposed a two weeks ban on Brad Thorne, this appearing substantially harsher, but having the same practical affect.

    P.S. To BEN above, you appear to think that you are funny mocking Christianity and Christians generally, but I think you merely show a fundamental lack of even a bare understanding of Christianity and of good humour generally. Furthermore, I can also tell you what Brad Thorne would do to you if you made such comments in his presence, the result probably being a more substantial injury than that suffered by Smit.

    By Anonymous Simon, at July 15, 2008 6:36 am  

  • Well - this citing has proved that there is no consistancy. As always the officals seem reluctant to punish anyone who wears the black rugby jersy sponsored by Addidas. A spear tackle is an automatic red card = three game suspension. Thorns tackle on Smit wasn't even done in the "heat of the moment" during game play. The ref's whistle had already been blown for another dangerous play from a Kiwi.

    Ministrel man - Smith went off injured from that tackles and as a result is out for the rest of the tournament.

    By Anonymous Just a Fan (the original one..), at July 15, 2008 12:51 pm  

  • I know ALOT about christianity, that is why I find it so easy to mock. If anybody has actually sat down and read the bible, you would also find it extremely hard to believe.
    In fact, as a highly educated person with two science degrees and a catholic girlfried I am probably better equipt than anybody to mock religion. that all it deserves. how anyone can believe that stuff is un-believable. get an education and stop listening to tales which were made up thousand sof years ago...people thought the earth was flat at that time for goodness sake!

    p.s. trust me...im not going to hell lol...

    By Anonymous ben, at July 15, 2008 1:28 pm  

  • Just a fan (the original) - Smit went off injured from that tackle and as a result is out for the rest of the tournament.

    No he didn't - he got straight back up tried to coerce the ref into sending him off for spear (it's not a spear when he's dropped on his back look up the definition in the IRB rule book). Smit then played for another 30mins before coming off..how does that work if he got badly injured being dumped by Thorn? Any chance he could have aggravated his groin during this 30mins after the incident? It is rugby guv...

    But if you want to learn a technically perfect spear tackle watch this link:

    If you can't see the difference then you obviously don't understand the game.

    By Anonymous minstrel man, at July 15, 2008 1:55 pm  

  • BEN - get a life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 15, 2008 1:56 pm  

  • @minstrel man - I`ve been dropped on my back at least ten times,and I`ve had my eye gouged 3 or 4 times. being dropped on my back I got an shoulder injury that kept me 2 months off the pitch, so spear me your childish comments... smit got injured and is out of the whole of tri nations and this incident wasnt even an proper eye gouging!

    By Anonymous minstrel BOY, at July 15, 2008 2:36 pm  

  • thats pathetic ...suspension for that?!?!!?! your not gonna take someones eye out with a fist!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 15, 2008 3:28 pm  

  • Ben, even though you are a self-proclaimed expert on religion due to your two degrees, it did not seem to add any value to your ability to spell. How about keeping to the rugby discussions on this forum, as opposed to attempting to offend people with different views to your own?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 15, 2008 3:49 pm  

  • The all blacks getting away with things as per usual

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 15, 2008 4:23 pm  

  • The whole debate is not the actual incensed but the inconsistency of the punishment handed out.

    A bit silly of Du Plessis, but it makes me think what did Thomsons do to him in the first place, He was not an angel the whole game!

    The Smit Thorn thing same goes, did Smit do something to Thorn?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 15, 2008 6:03 pm  

  • Anon - what happened before is irrelevant. Rugby rules punish the retaliator....but....in the Smit/Thorn issue, Thorn went into the ruck with a leading elbow and Smit objected by shoving him, the rest, as they say, is history.

    By Anonymous "the" just a fan, at July 15, 2008 7:04 pm  

  • apparently he pushed thorns head, which in NZ is enough to pick someone up and drop them even if they dont have the ball and the whistles gone! god you obviously havent got your silver fern glasses on today, you can buy a pair off minstrel man!

    By Anonymous blu22, at July 15, 2008 7:06 pm  

  • @ministry man:

    not bias at all...
    Thorn tackle wasnt just out of time, the ref had blowned the whistle.
    His near-spear-tackle originated a brawl.
    It should have been at least yellow card, 1 week citation? i can accept that, as i can accept if it was 2 weeks.

    as for Du Plessis, any decent rugby player understands his movement, he didnt punched, he rubbed his fist. Thomson should know better, you play in your side of the ruck, otherwise you will get your ass kicked.
    3 weeks is overkill in my opinion, but maybe the SANZAR board is paranoid about eye gauging, "back in the time" eye gauging was very common unfortunely, and all rugby boards made a big effort to ban it from the fields by beeing very strict in the punishments.

    Maybe thats the case in this situation...

    By Anonymous Cotton, at July 15, 2008 7:18 pm  

  • Blu22 - dig your sense of humour.. LOL

    By Anonymous "the" just a fan, at July 16, 2008 10:10 am  

  • blu22 - im english guv so you might want to save your guessing games for your team-mates in the under-5 mini rugby you play every weekend. No need to share you're insecurities about those Kiwis on here. I'm jealous too that a poxy, insignificant country at the end of the earth consistently dominates every other nation it has played in over 100years of the game. Respect though!

    minstrel boy - i've got impaired vision in my left eye due to an eye-gouge several years ago so take your pussyfoot shoulder injury from a dump tackle (bet it was legal) and shove it. Lightweight.

    Cotton - if you read my earlier post i'm not condoning the thorn tackle - i'm simply trying to point out to the mini-rugby players here what the difference is. Hard work!

    By Anonymous minstrel man, at July 16, 2008 11:48 am  

  • It is great fun to see how people on this forum seem to think they played 'real, hard' rugby when they argue a point, and that everyone else who posts have not played at all. I would bet most people who post have played to some level at least, so why not keep the arguments to the issue at hand. Minstrel, sounds like you may have some residual concussion to go with that eye-gouge you received... ...and bet you used to be either hooker or scrum-half.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 12:03 pm  

  • where is the justice in this world? how the hell did Thorn only kop a 1 week suspention...and du plessis get 3 weeks and now SA have to play against Aus and Argentina with our 3rd and 4th string hookers!

    So not fair, super bias towards NZ

    By Anonymous Iron, at July 16, 2008 12:59 pm  

  • @minstrel man- this was NOT eye gouging "Du Plessis acknowledged his fist had come into contact with Thomson’s lower cheek and then his left hand knuckle appeared to come into contact with Thomson’s face near the eye area, but did not come into contact with his eye"
    over and out

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at July 16, 2008 6:23 pm  

  • It was harsh to ban du plessis for so long for something that was only made apparent by the commentators by what they said which only aggrevated things, dont believe they wouldve said that if it were the other way around - or even shown it!! thompson didnt care and wasnt injured - he went on to play well. may have been intentional eye gouging (doubt it) but it failed and so he should have got a warning and probably 1 week off. and i dont think the bok victory has been marred in any way by this! and finally, BEN you are a muppet and no amount of degrees can change that.

    By Anonymous Brent, at July 16, 2008 7:35 pm  

  • Bergamasco did the same thing to Lee Byrne in the six nations and he had something like an 18 week ban! A 3 week ban is not harsh at all, he could have made permanent damage so should have been a similar ban if you ask me.

    By Anonymous geraint, at July 17, 2008 1:56 pm  

  • Geraint - Did Bergamasco get a yellow or red card?.

    By Anonymous HQ, at September 24, 2008 9:06 pm  

  • Typical Dirty Play from Du Plessis... The guy is always involved in something off the ball... Most recently threatening BOD with his fist in the Lions tour. He looked like an idiot.

    Their all the same, Burger, Du Plessis, Botha, Brussow... Dirty players who resort to cheating and foul play when the pressure is on, No wonder Springbok are back to number 2. That didn't last long! ha ha ha

    By Anonymous tuia, at December 03, 2009 10:53 pm  

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