Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bakkies Botha suspended for two weeks after injuring Adam Jones

Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has been banned for two weeks after being found guilty of 'dangerous charging' on Adam Jones, an incident that left the British & Irish Lions prop with a dislocated shoulder.

Botha will now miss the third and final Test next weekend, as will Jones, who left the field at the time, with the injury requiring surgery.

Both Botha and Schalk Burger attended a hearing in Pretoria on Sunday night, which resulted in the two week suspension for Botha, and 8 weeks for Burger after his first minute of the Test eye gouge on wing Luke Fitzgerald.

While there has been plenty of talk about dirty tactics, former England captain and British & Irish Lion Will Carling has come out in defence of the Springboks.

"When all is said and done though, South Africa won the test and with that the series and have proved that they are one, if not 'the', strongest team in the World at the moment," Carling wrote on his website.

"Did the Boks cheat, were they just thugs?" Carling continued, " No, not in my mind. If Burger gouged that is inexcusable and the referee should have sent him off there and then. But apart from that, what else did they do that was thuggery? It was hard for sure, bloody hard, but isn't that Test rugby? Botha's illegal challenge on Jones? well what about BOD's illegal tackle? It is swings and roundabouts and the Boks have always been a very very physical side. It is nothing new," he said.

"The Lions can and should be proud of what they have achieved in throwing four 'teams' together in a matter of weeks and secondly the Boks are a bloody good, tough side, with many great players and great characters, and they should not be branded thugs, or cheats. They have won the test series, and congratulations to them."

Lets hear your thoughts
Worthy of a two week suspension, or was it a legal clear out with an unfortunate injury? Also what do you think of what Carling had to say?

Time: 01:03
Please note: Keep things clean and respectful, or your comments will be removed. Random Anonymous comments will also be deleted, so use a name rather.



  • It was fine. Unfortunate accident, but didn't deserve a suspension.

    What's worse is Botha has gotten away with a LOT worse before ;D

    By Anonymous allblackian, at June 29, 2009 1:09 pm  

  • Perfectly legal cleanout by the big hard man. This is rugby, guys, not tiddly winks.

    Very unfortunate citing.

    This however deserves a citing. Lions weren't angels either on Saturday


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:11 pm  

  • why was my comment deleted for saying 'filthy boks'. as if they weren't in that game?! glad burger got suspended, he should have been red carded in the first place.

    By Anonymous rugbyazzuri, at June 29, 2009 1:11 pm  

  • This sort of thing happens numerous times a game. Botha was unlucky in that on this occassion it caused injury.

    I'm English.

    By Anonymous Chris, at June 29, 2009 1:12 pm  

  • dont understand why he was suspended, nothing illegal in my eyes,probably just because an injury resulted

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:14 pm  

  • Although the boks have gotten away with a lot of things before this happened, the cleanout was legal and very hard. Looks fine to me.

    By Anonymous Jan, at June 29, 2009 1:14 pm  

  • Nothing wrong. A victim of the dirty bok perception.. which hasnt been helped by Schalk's stupidity.

    Him and Alan Quinlan should have a beer together and reflect on who is stupider.

    By Anonymous Shaft, at June 29, 2009 1:16 pm  

  • I'm a lions fan. Burger can think himself very lucky for only getting 8 weeks. But I feel Botha was very hard done by. What did he actually do wrong, it seemed he was doing what we're all taught to do from a young age-drive hard and low. It was just unfortunate that Jones was injured, I have a feeling if he wasn't injured this citing would never have happened. Are we going to see all players causing injuries on others cited now, because that is a very slippery slope to go down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:17 pm  

  • Good on you Will Carling, it was a good game of rugby, and the ultimate example of a test (I'm british btw).

    Burger was cited correctly.
    Botha was cited incorrectly.

    Sheridon should have been cited and was not.

    a hard test it was, don't turn our good game into footie for pansies, this is what rugby is about.

    Thanks for a great test, south africa deserved the win with 3 spectacular tries, and should actually have been 4 had the ref allowed the advantage in the last move to continue.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:17 pm  

  • this was ok, a bloody tough clear-out in keeping with the intensity shown by both sides throughout the game.

    shoulder to shoulder contact, both players were on their feet at the time.

    can't see anything illegal here, and dissappointing he will be missing for the final test.

    would have loved to see simon shaw/bod do something similar to him in return.

    the real crime of the match was the refs fear to show red to burger

    By Blogger unga bunga, at June 29, 2009 1:18 pm  

  • The b&i players did worse!!! What about that low blow...guess the citing guy must be a brit!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:24 pm  

  • my above comment is in relation to botha. burger deserved to get even more than 8wks (and I'm a bok fan!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:26 pm  

  • I personally think the epicness of the test would have been lost if Burger was red-carded.

    He possibly deserved a red, but the game would have been spoiled by it. Thank goodness sanity prevailed, he got cited for it anyway.

    It ended up in a great contest, and a true test for the Lions. We lost the game, at least loose with dignity.

    Sheridan also deserved a citing for punching the green lock in the nuts, not much difference between that and Burger.

    The Lions were outplayed by the better team, and that coming from an honest Lions supporter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:29 pm  

  • This kind od stuff happens
    Botha is known to be a tough and sometimes dirty player, but here it's completly legal, just infortunate for jones.

    Completly agree with Carling, hide the 2 defeats of lions behind boks "thuggeries" is a non-sense

    By Blogger Flooz, at June 29, 2009 1:31 pm  

  • botha was fine,

    schalk burger should ve gotten lot more weeks!!

    (this from a springbok supporter)

    By Anonymous Cheis, at June 29, 2009 1:32 pm  

  • Can't say much about the cleanout, there wasn't much wrong with it good technique he got nice and low for it, but Botha had a poor game overall he was too caught up in the smack talk. However Burgers gouge was unacceptable, no place for it in the game, it just hows how dirty a player he is, the lad broussow is a far better player, Burger will do well to get back into the team.

    By Anonymous Waldo, at June 29, 2009 1:41 pm  

  • This kind of clean-out has been happening in every game of this tour and no one has batted an eyelid. It's only the injury to Jones that has suddenly made this an offense.

    By Blogger Jacques, at June 29, 2009 1:42 pm  

  • Sheridan wat a cheeky shot....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 1:43 pm  

  • quite unfair for Botha as stated above, he's done so much worse than that in the past...
    One thing that I don't understand is that it seems to me that the northern atmosphere is a lot more watching out for diving in ... which is what Botha is doing (rather than rucking on his legs).
    If you look at the latest games (France Australia Kiwis), you tend to see more and more people throwing their bodies in the rucks.

    By Blogger jay, at June 29, 2009 1:45 pm  

  • agree with everyone above.botha was legal..burger should of got of 12 weeks.thanks RD.the will carling write up was a nice touch

    By Blogger Alain, at June 29, 2009 1:47 pm  

  • First watch I thought it was fine and nothing wrong! but after watching a couple of times he charges in and goes straight off his feet.

    By Anonymous Jgillesp, at June 29, 2009 1:48 pm  

  • A fine clear-out and a ban sparked off only by the ruckus and whining of foul play.

    If only 1% of brits have the sense of will carling, they might actually win a game soon. Going to be 8 straight lions losses Saturday, the lions are truly a global powerhouse. Oh yea but of course so unfortunate they were only "thrown" together with "only" 5 weeks left. Lets declare all the losses void and null then. Lions are winners in their eyes no matter what.Silly silly.

    By Anonymous Richard, at June 29, 2009 2:06 pm  

  • I think my coach would be very pleased with me if i clear out like bakkies botha.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:07 pm  

  • sheridan cant be cited cos if he was they would have to cite all the players involved in that scuffle that started between matfield and BOD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:14 pm  

  • I don't get it, what was wrong with that?? Is that not just rucking?? He got him out of the way didn't he. That's how I was taught to ruck anyway. Besides, Jones wasn't in a very strong stance, he should have been paying better attention of what was in front of him, it was his own fault.

    Burger's was durty though, should have been a straight red.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:21 pm  

  • I wish that had been O'Gara that got taken out, stupid pikey!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:25 pm  

  • Absolute rubbish, there's no way that was in any way illegal. I'm a lions fan and I'm disgusted Botha was banned for that. If we start going down this road we'll end up like soccer. It was a hard fair clear out, very unfortunate jones was injured but it happens.

    Burger on the other hand. Should have got 6 months. Once POC and the lads were told what happened he should have been targeted, this is a man's game and that sort of crap can't be allowed to go unpunished. If quinny (ironically enough) had been there burger wouldn't have finished the match in one piece.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:32 pm  

  • looks like a legal hard hit to me, although, jones was a key player in the lions momentum.. maybe targeted? Botha did deserve a pounding though, just wish he'd wound up sheri abit more.
    Burger, what a muppet. I don't think it would have felt as much as a true victory if they'd only beat 14 though. Least it was a good close game. Lions should have clinched it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:32 pm  

  • Legal clear out but what were his intentions? Put Jones out of the game... i f@cking hate that. Whatever it's in the rules but it's still a dickish thing to do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:33 pm  

  • I thaught the referee wimped out a bit by not red carding burger at the start, when the linesman says "a clear eye gouge" surely that can only mean red?, it would seem that the big name and the fact it was so early in the match made the referee hesitate too much, there should be no celebrity in rugby. HOWEVER i thaught that the 'charge' from Botha was fine, just seemed like a good clearence, unfortunate for Adam Jones, as he was having a very good game but this is a tough game and injuries do happen. Burger got off light and Botha can feel hard done by.

    By Anonymous Wesh Sim, at June 29, 2009 2:37 pm  

  • Dunno how some people think BOD should've been cited - he attempted to wrap, but his head colliding with Russouw's kept it from happening.

    Then again, Botha didn't deserve to be cited either.

    And as for Burger, it's good he wasn't taken off...by staying on, he got to embarrass himself even more by giving away a 3-point penalty.

    By Anonymous eh, at June 29, 2009 2:40 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with the clear out at all. Botha was very, very hard done by to be suspended for that. You didn't see any Lions reacting to the incident and rightly so. Just an unlucky injury - part of the game, especially when played with such intensity at such a high level.

    Lions fan btw.

    Congrats to SA on the series win.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at June 29, 2009 2:44 pm  

  • silly challenge.
    burger incident enraged 1000s of lions supporters.RED CARD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 2:45 pm  

  • "Bakkies Burger said...

    Equally as useless as Schalk's citing.


    At the 1.38 mark you can see "crystal" clear his whole open hand is resting on the fuck face"

    Didn't know they had a version of youtube available for the blind; isn't that nice for you!

    By Anonymous raf, at June 29, 2009 2:46 pm  

  • bakkies burger,are you serious? he clearly sticks his fingers into fitzgeralds eye.get some glasses mate

    By Anonymous sexy scrum-half, at June 29, 2009 2:48 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with the clear out at all. Botha was very, very hard done by to be suspended for that. You didn't see any Lions reacting to the incident and rightly so. Just an unlucky injury - part of the game, especially when played with such intensity at such a high level.

    Lions fan btw.

    Congrats to SA on the series win.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at June 29, 2009 2:48 pm  

  • nothing in it, wouldn't have even been talking about it if Jones' hadn't been injured.

    By Anonymous jon, at June 29, 2009 2:49 pm  

  • Just watched the Berger incident again on the link provided. Thought it might actually present something other than I've already watched a dozen times.


    Absolutely 100% deliberate fingers in the eyes. Now, what would a dictionary call that...eh...gouging.

    Very bad play by the Linesman. There is no such thing as 'at least a yellow'. This is pretty useless direction to give the ref, who saw nothing.

    Anyway, there is absolutely no appropriate sanction except a Red card for that foul. The Assistant Ref bottled it entirely. Berger should have been walked for an early shower, end of story.

    No bitterness on my part as regards the result - well done SA in winning the series - and I'm not saying that this determined the match, but it is impossible to argue convincingly that Berger should have been back on that pitch at any stage. The only reason you'd try to do that is if you had no objectivity.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at June 29, 2009 2:53 pm  

  • ps re burger incident, does this mean that blatant eye gouging is a yellow card offence?

    if a tackle is stupidly high / late and deemed deliberate then it gets a red. (see labuschagne v wilkinson 2002). Its called "foul play", because its part of "play".

    Tackling is part of rugby, clearing out rucks is part of rugby and rugby is a hard sport, we all know that.

    Sticking your fingers in someones eye is not part of rugby. Sometimes it happens accidentally, - OK.

    but when Burger does it in front of the ref - then its red.simple as. there is no argument because where gouging is deliberate, which it clearly was, then you must give it red, or set the precident that it is excusable on the rugby field.

    which it certainyl isnt!

    rant over,

    Bruised Lion in London.

    By Anonymous jimmy MC, at June 29, 2009 2:53 pm  

  • I think Botha's well documented past history of foul play in rucks worked against him in this case. Indeed, he was banned for 3 weeks in the Super 14 this year. If you go on youtube.com u can see numerous Botha fouls. If this was Juan Smith, for example, I don't think he would have been cited.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 3:10 pm  

  • Lions supporter. Yes Sheridan should have been cited and got a 1 or 2 week ban.

    Burger should have got at least 12 weeks like Quinlan, but I feel that all this eye gouging sentences are way too lenient.
    1st offense should be 6 months, second 3 years and 3rd lifetime ban.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 3:19 pm  

  • Gotta say it was harsh on Botha, even as a Lion's supporter.
    To be fair, I don't notice any complaint about this incident from the Lion's camp either.
    It was more like a sholder

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 3:20 pm  

  • The truely tough tests are rarely seen and the 2nd Test between the Lions & the Boks was a superior test and one of the best seen in a long time.

    Burger was rightly cited and suspended and his playing days are numbered with Brussow putting his hand up and showing much more discipline than Burger.

    Botha, though, can really feel cheated as his clean out was hard and straight. A perfect clean out. Jones' arm was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he suffered the unfortunate side of rugby - an injury that could end or hamper a career. As a prop, his shoulders are his bread & butter so any damage can be fatal to his career. Hope he gets fit again though.

    This clean out ruling brings another recent clean out penalty to mind. All Blacks vs France - 1st test 2009. Adam Thomson was blown for illeagal cleaning out when he had his hands up and gave the French player a 'mighty' shove to clear him from the ruck. He was blown for it.

    In both cases (Botha & Thomson) the referees were Northern Hemisphere referees, so it looks as though an interpertation of the law and the brutality of South Hemisphere rugby vs. the cautious Northern Hemisphere.

    I am a Southern Hemisphere rugby player/supporter hailing from South Africa. FYI.

    By Anonymous oddshapeball, at June 29, 2009 3:22 pm  

  • Lions supporter. I do not think you can cite a player based on the inuury that occurred. You must first decide whether an offense has been committed, regardless of the injury caused, if any. Only when it is found that a foul has taken place should the injury come into play as an agravating factor. A mitigating factor in the sentence might be that the player has a good disciplinary record etc...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 3:22 pm  

  • Identical clear-out vs England:


    Nothing wrong with the Botha/Jones incident in the slightest. Entered 'through the gate' (ie. not from the side), stayed on his feet, he wasn't late as the ball was not in the 9's hands and he made contact with a player who was over the ball. Good technique I'd say.

    Burger on the other hand...

    I think he should have got a much bigger ban. The IRB should be taking a serious stance against that sort of behaviour and so I would suggest a 6 month ban.

    Also VERY disappointed by de Villiers' comments regarding the incident: "...it didn't deserve a card...it is part of the game". There is no way Burger's actions can be condoned. With an attitude like that I really think he is not fit to coach even an under12 team, let alone an international side.

    By Blogger Brighty, at June 29, 2009 3:33 pm  

  • Burger is bloody ridiculous, gutless refs to afraid to show the red card. If that gouge wasn't red then what the hell is nowadays?

    By Anonymous P'dOff, at June 29, 2009 3:35 pm  

  • That incident really highlights south africa's phisicallity and how mammoth the task of beating them is. Also o'gara getting walked over for st africa's last try was depressing.The clini
    cal penalty wasn't deserved. O'gara was just after getting up from the tank spies running over him and was in no way fit to chase down his own kick.Hinesights great. Think o'gara's days are numbered sexton will soon replace him with ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 3:43 pm  

  • You blokes have a lot to say but obviously don't know the rules:

    'All players forming, joining or taking part in a ruck must have their heads and shoulders no
    lower than their hips'

    There is no way his head/shoulders are above his hips and from his build up to the hit you can see he was not just intent in clearing the ruck. This rule is there for a good reason, to prevent players intent on causing injury like this - I think you all do BB a dis-service;. he's very good and very streetwise...of course he knew what his huge frame was capable of in hitting the player at a ruck in this illegal manner...

    By Blogger Gary, at June 29, 2009 3:47 pm  

  • As I understand it Botha was found guilty of dangerously "charging into a ruck without binding on a player" in the fourth minute of the second half.

    Technically, what Botha did was illegal, although you see it in just about every ruck. I suppose when the charge resutls in a serious injury you are going to get cited fot it.

    Maybe Botha, is unlucky, but the is out for 2 weeks......Jones is out for 6 months, maybe more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 4:03 pm  

  • bakkies cleared him out fine. unfortunate citing

    By Blogger Zama, at June 29, 2009 4:17 pm  

  • agree with the general consensus here and don't understand why Botha got cited. He has done worse - e.g. the flathand on Kankowski!
    Also Burger should have gotten longer. Did not Quinlan receive twelve and R. Best 18 weeks for gounging? And Quinlan's wasn't nearly as bad. Heartley was also banned for 6 months, Burger deserves longer.

    By Anonymous 212, at June 29, 2009 4:24 pm  

  • I am a Lions supporter but if Botha was cited, than perhaps so should have BOD (one of my favorite players) for his hit on Rousow (sorry bad spelling).

    On another point, ROG got run over by Fourie, but Bowe and Phillips should have done better as well.

    By Anonymous canadian content, at June 29, 2009 4:34 pm  

  • I dont think anything was wrong with it but, the laws do state you have to bind onto a ruck then drive, you cant just gro straight in, he was rather low and there was no real attempt to bind.

    Unlucky about the injury lots of players hit like that but its no legal if you take the law to the letter.

    By Blogger Ennis, at June 29, 2009 4:35 pm  

  • Burgers was twice as bad as Quinlans and yet he gets two weeks less??

    Consistency anyone? Also the ref should be in deep deep shit for not giving him a red card...I mean if an offense of which you can get one of the longest bans possible in rugby doesnt deserve a red card then what exaclty does?

    By Anonymous themull, at June 29, 2009 4:37 pm  

  • Nothing new to be said, only Burger should have got banned, and for longer. Botha is just a good clean out and wont have even made the highlish if there wasnt an injury.

    However, why isnt there a standard amount of times for bans. One rule for all just like the game

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 4:38 pm  

  • just an unfortunate accident in my book, botha is known for powerfull clean outs anyway.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 4:48 pm  

  • "Burgers was twice as bad as Quinlans and yet he gets two weeks less??"

    How was it twice as bad?? From what I recall, Quinlans looked worse, perhaps cause of the camerawork and the closeup. But even so, I dont know how you can go on about Burgers being soooo bad when you cant actually see it very well.

    By Anonymous Dave, at June 29, 2009 4:55 pm  

  • Jones was just resting his tired fat ass over that ruck, and got rucked over, perfectly legal...

    As for burger, what else could he have expected? eye gouging is ALWAYS a reason for suspension

    By Anonymous Eric, at June 29, 2009 4:56 pm  

  • What is the difference between the Botha hit and the guy who hits him directly afterwards?

    By Blogger Bill, at June 29, 2009 6:10 pm  

  • just good hard counter-rucking from an otherwise extremely dirty player. probably got suspended more on reputation. makes up for all the times in the past he got away with murder on the field. biggest scumbag in world rugby.

    By Blogger Kevin, at June 29, 2009 6:12 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with that

    By Anonymous ybr, at June 29, 2009 6:16 pm  

  • Yea. BOD should be banned for life for that appaling hit.

    How dare he floor a bigger Saffer with a perfectly timed hit.


    i know a bit of equivalence between the incidents involving Burg(l)er and BOD would be nice for wounded Lions pride and/or SA shame purposes, but there isn't any.

    That Burgler should be banned for months, not weeks. Cf Quinlan Best etc. End of.

    By Anonymous mise, at June 29, 2009 6:32 pm  

  • couldn't happen to a nice Boer... uh... boy...

    The shame is that someone doesn't get the oppotunity to deliver a message back to Botha.

    Imaginge putting Nathan Hines out in the starting lineup in the Third Test. Deliver a message. Play with 14 men, but keep the Boks honest.

    I would have loved to see someone return the favor to Botha. Bring back some old school biff.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 29, 2009 6:40 pm  

  • more direct and to the point,

    Botha has a history of going into breakdowns without binding and leading with a head or shoulder.

    There's other video of it out there.

    I've seen Botha do much dirtier. Just find it funny he got pinched for this.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 29, 2009 6:44 pm  

  • oh cmon, this is rugby union, not soccer or rugby league...that should've been 100% legal. This is a rough sport, and Adam Jones should have to deal with it or piss off and play lawn bowls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 6:45 pm  

  • as for the Burger foul.
    The TJ clearly wanted to deliver a red.

    However, the French Referee just as clearly cut off his explanation and backed him into a corner, basically keeping the TJ from advising to a red.

    TJs are taught to defer to the head referee's "guidance", unless of course you are Steve Walsh.

    This French referee was shameful in his inability to live with the player's foul play. Referees often get accussed of "determining" games by issuing cards. In this case, the referee did by not doing so.

    Instead, you end up with the Bakkies nonsense later in the match.

    After all if an eye gouge only gets you a yellow...

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 29, 2009 6:50 pm  

  • its an unfortunate accident but the irb has to do smthg about the ruck phases :
    its a game where you're not allowed to tackle the man without the ball and the clearing-offs at the break-downs are absolute aggressions (you just run and smash into a guy without the ball)

    By Anonymous luxi, at June 29, 2009 7:26 pm  

  • If Jones hadn't got injured (and subsequently lost because they were screwing the SA scrum!) then this wouldn't have been looked at twice.

    Unfortunate yes, dirty, not so much. And yes, Botha has got away with worse!!

    By Anonymous RichW, at June 29, 2009 7:42 pm  

  • Didn't see the replay during the match so this is the first time I've seen it. Superb counter rucking as far as I can see. Citing and ban are both unwarranted.

    Burger on the other hand got off WAY too lightly. Absolute SCUM!

    By Anonymous Reggie, at June 29, 2009 7:52 pm  

  • an enthusiastic clear out, nothing more in my eyes. unfortunate that it resulted in injury, but still did not deserve a citing. rugby is an aggressive game (on the pitch)played by huge, strong athletes. there's bound to be the odd injury from incidents like this. nothing illegal.

    By Anonymous Ollie Mohinder, at June 29, 2009 7:53 pm  

  • Gary, you're right about the law, but then again, the law also says:

    "16.3 Rucking

    (e) Players must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips.
    Penalty: Free Kick"

    How often does that actually happen? How often does a player cover a ball in a ruck with his head and shoulders down with his backside in the air. In this case, it actually highlights the danger of following the law: Jones followed it perfectly, only to get a shoulder thrown out.

    That doesn't excuse the fact that Botha went in without any attempt to grab the Jones to play him off, but jolts him like a ram...but then again, Rees does return the favor in the exact same way Botha does - head/shoulders down/in line with his hips...but he did sort of try to grasp Botha.

    It's quite the sticky decision to make...pretty subjective if you ask me.

    By Anonymous sir bedevere the not-so-wise, at June 29, 2009 8:28 pm  

  • "But apart from that, what else did they do that was thuggery?"
    Like 10 high tackles in a minute, Will! Botha didn't deserve the suspension, but if Parisse got an eight week ban, Burger deserves like 12 weeks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 8:45 pm  

  • Absolutely ridiculos. What has rugby come to. It is a clear claen-out by Botha. Sick and tired of all the suspensions here and there. Sure Burger and Parisse deserved suspensions, but thats just dirty play. Since when is playing aggressively, playing dirty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 8:53 pm  

  • i can safely say that the few dudes quoting the rule book have probably never played serious rugby in their lives.
    This form of clean out happens at every level and i am betting coaches around the world wish they can get a clean out like that.
    It happens about 50 or 60 times in a contest and the only reason this has been cited is a) becos its bakkies and b) the hair fat dood got injured

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 8:59 pm  

  • sory this off topic hear.but did anyone see pierre spies smash jamie robert.it was when spies ran the ball back from his 22.was few mins before the habana try I think.robert went flying. impressive stuf

    By Blogger Alain, at June 29, 2009 10:36 pm  

  • Bakkies was on his feet (and kept his feet) and entered through the gate. He bound on to the player he cleared. There is nothing else to discuss. Adam Jones was static and got rocked, if he had a lower body position, he wouldn't have been so easy to clear.

    To those citing the head/shoulders being below the hips, Adam Jones did the same, would that not make him as guilty? Considering the infraction warrants only a free kick, that does not seem to fall under the realm of foul play does it now? If this technique is to be cited, nearly every top level match would be finished with 12 players in the bin.

    By Blogger Mike, at June 29, 2009 10:40 pm  

  • Glad that South Africa won-i dont rate the lions at all

    By Anonymous stef, at June 29, 2009 10:43 pm  

  • botha was unlucky, don't think it was bad at all. burger should have got longer than that. gouging is horrific and should hav a much more severe punishment

    By Anonymous martin-offload, at June 29, 2009 11:27 pm  

  • "Sheridan also deserved a citing for punching the green lock in the nuts, not much difference between that and Burger."

    I missed that....anyone?

    my initial reaction was, what was wrong with that?!...but maybe its because they said he came off his feet?! only a thought, he seemed to fly in at jones and not really stay on his feet.....but to be totally honest i think it is a bit pathetic.....

    looked bloody painful though.

    well he might have been playing dirty, but really all the people commenting dont seem to think anything bad of this, and neither did anyone else.....i say take his 2 weeks and give them to burger!

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 29, 2009 11:31 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with that clearout, Botha came through the gate and put his shoulder on the man...unfortunate that Jones got hurt though.

    Also, how come the Lions didn't have another backup prop? I could have sworn that the laws require all teams to field 2 complete front rows.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2009 11:37 pm  

  • Ah just saw the sheridan punch to the balls! personally a definate citing!! i want the lions to win, and ofcourse i dont want key players from the lions to get banned but this is stupid, it is obvious what he did....funny how the commentator doesnt really point it out....

    oh well boks, you need to get julian white to come over to teach you guys how to deal with someone like sheridan!

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 29, 2009 11:38 pm  

  • to be honest i think this was ok apart from the fact he made no effort to stay on his feet as was seen all throughout the game and the referee missed it. he was truly appalling. But this is not the first time we have seen rugby turned dirty and malicious particularly by the boks. As for Schalke Burger, he is the most foul player in international rugby and to be honest needs a severe punishment compared to the one he received. I understand rugby is a physical sport but there is no room for violent and malicious intentions, which the springboks often seem to demonstrate

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 12:03 am  

  • i dont understand why he's suspended, he tried to clear a ruck and cocked it up. i think the only reason he's even been cited is that jones got injured.

    By Anonymous no9, at June 30, 2009 12:08 am  

  • Agressive yes, but nothing wrong really. I would have loved that as a Bokke.

    Disappointed Burger didn't see red, but in the past now.

    High tackle on Simon Shaw there? Quite an achievement on such a big man.

    By Blogger cp85, at June 30, 2009 12:17 am  

  • what is schalk doing? he shouldve been suspended for atleast 16 weeks, its a big mistake to let him keep playing his dirty nasty kind of rugby

    By Anonymous Tc, at June 30, 2009 12:49 am  

  • I hate Botha has I think he plays the game with intent to injure players with illegal shoulder charges on defenceless players at the break down. I think he is a coward, However I think this was a case where he did nothing wrong. It was just a unlucky situation, he hit that ruck with his arms out as any other forward would when clearing the ruck. Just unlucky really. But I have no problem with him missing games as I think he should of been removed from the game years ago.

    By Anonymous MeAgain, at June 30, 2009 1:14 am  

  • Bakkies should keep his mouth shut and stop going out of his way to hurt people.

    By Anonymous fish, at June 30, 2009 1:25 am  

  • i'd love to say this was ok..take a good luck..is this hit on purpose?

    By Anonymous wolonel, at June 30, 2009 3:37 am  

  • oh and there's a bit of a problem here..south african fans are posting urls in response to some seriously dirty play..absolutely no remorse..i'd like to take this opportunity to state that your team will not be forgotten as a team who deserved a six try hiding followed by a 14 v 15 shambles in 2009..our rugby is the sweeter these days

    By Anonymous wolonel, at June 30, 2009 3:45 am  

  • wow, wolonel, you don't even have to win these days to play good rugby hey?
    Must be great to be a NH supporter when you can lose constantly and still be the better team. Good stuff.

    By Anonymous jon, at June 30, 2009 4:06 am  

  • oh and fish, it's rugby, I think you'll find that many rugby players go out to hurt the other teams players. It's not ping pong buddy.

    By Anonymous jon, at June 30, 2009 4:07 am  

  • The biggest problem with this is that the official have let rucking slide into pretty much shoulder charging and going off your feet at every ruck. Rees did this on Botha the next phase.

    I think Thompson was right to be penalised in the letter of the law, and Botha's "rucking" was downwards on someones arm/shoulder.

    However, they should be very hard done by because this has become the norm and their incidents were exactly like 100 others which you see in every match.

    The B&I Lions didnt lose because RSA were dirty, but because their 4 most effective players went off injured, they went into their shells after half time and an ROG picked the worse time possible to show all his weaknesses in 5 minutes of test rugby. Well done on the series win South Africa

    By Anonymous Gareth, at June 30, 2009 4:55 am  

  • Well put, Gareth.

    By Anonymous Willis, at June 30, 2009 8:02 am  

  • "oh and there's a bit of a problem here..south african fans are posting urls in response to some seriously dirty play..absolutely no remorse..i'd like to take this opportunity to state that your team will not be forgotten as a team who deserved a six try hiding followed by a 14 v 15 shambles in 2009..our rugby is the sweeter these days"

    Wrong, Wolonel. There's plenty of remorse and condemnation for Burger's actions. Not sure how you missed all of that.

    And talking about what could have been (six try hidings etc) is just so futile. The Lions lost, but there will always be next time.

    By Blogger Jacques, at June 30, 2009 10:28 am  

  • Regarding Adam Jones - I was sorry to see him leave the field. He was powerful in the scrum and thoroughly deserved his starting spot.

    Having said that, when you hover over a ruck like he did, you do so with the sole aim of protecting the ball so that your scrumhalf or ball carrier can pick up cleanly. Jones wasn't watching out for incoming traffic. He should have been low and braced for impact and then none of this would have happened.

    By Blogger Jacques, at June 30, 2009 10:33 am  

  • If the Lions could have scored 6 trys why didn't they?

    Burger had an brain melt down - no excuse for that...but the BIL supporters are carrying on as if he is the first and only person to have done that...An eye gouge is an eye gouge...you cant say one is worse than the other....Burger deserves his punishment - and none are more disappointed by his actions that the Bokke supporters...

    BOD's hit on Roussouw wasn't perfectly timed - BOD was off sides and it was a should charge...he should have been cited - A Bok would have been.

    Can't BELIEVE that that thug Sheridan is even allowed on a rugby field...He has no idea how to play - he is just there to antagonise.

    I almost felt sorry for the BIL after the game on Saturday - to lead for 73 minutes of the game and then lose it like that...Then their Captain and Geech spoke - they have proved to be the two most ungracious, spoiled brats EVER..Cant believe that they have no faith in them selves to beat a 15 man team - was their game plan to play 14 men only....Their own dirty play aside the BIL clearly missed their opportunities on Saturday and those to pricks failed to take responsibility for that.

    By Anonymous Just a Fan, at June 30, 2009 10:57 am  

  • Botha is filthy. Don't think he deserved suspension for this but he is always looking for a hit which will cause injury. Look at the first test before Smit scored and you will see Botha trying to cleave Brian O'D. Nothing wrong with hard play but if your intentions are to injure at all times you are not a rugby player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 11:24 am  

  • it was certanly legal it is an unfourtunate event but legal

    By Anonymous walla, at June 30, 2009 11:39 am  

  • I think the reasoning behind the Botha ban is that he wasn't bound onto the ruck, he just charged in. Although Botha was probably unlucky in getting banned for this incident, refs are trying to stop players charging into rucks at full pelt because it is dangerous. A couple of years ago a pro or semi-pro welsh rugby player died after a player charged into a ruck and broke his neck. Botha was unlucky but this is just a method of trying to reduce serious injuries in rugby.

    Just a Fan, Sheridan is not a thug. He may have argumentative but he was probably being needled as im sure lions players were needling the boks. Julien White is a thug, punching players with little provocation, something Sheridan doesn't do. He may be antagonistic but that doesn't make him a thug

    By Anonymous ajb, at June 30, 2009 3:31 pm  

  • BOD's hit wasn't a shoulder charge. He attempted to use the arm but was unable to wrap Roussouw up fully as he concussed himself in the process.
    Botha was pretty unlucky to get suspended but Burger deserved longer.

    By Anonymous alex, at June 30, 2009 3:35 pm  

  • Looking at this again I agree that it was harsh to Botha to be cited, in terms of legality I see nothing wrong with his actions as he was onside and the contact was shoulder to shoulder. It's unfortunate (especially for me as a Welsh lions fan) that Jones was injured as he was instrumental in the Lions pretty much dominating the forward battle in the first half, but that isn't a fair reason to cite Botha.

    As for Burger...absolutely disgusting. Eye gouging is the lowest of the low and should be punished with a far more hefty ban than 8 weeks. The cynical among us may argue that he knew he wouldn't get a red that early in the game and wanted to intimidate the Lions...personally I just think it's very poor refereeing. While it is true that if the match had been 15 v 14 for 79mins it wouldn't have been anywhere near as exciting, is that really a decent justification for lenience towards this thuggish behaviour?

    And as for the Lions...O Driscolls tackle was in my eyes a bit iffy but has been vilified due to the retarded commentators comments rather than the tackle itself. And Sheridan, while it was a cheap shot and should have been penalised I don't think you can compare a sack-tap to trying to gouge someone's eyes out...

    Congrats Boks, 2 brilliant tests and 2 deserved victories...as much as it hurts me to say it!

    By Anonymous Rhys, at June 30, 2009 3:39 pm  

  • Perfectly legal,I was looking forward to seeing it just to see what he'd actually done,as I couldn't remember it from the match at all,but this was nothing more than good body position and raw strength.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 3:50 pm  

  • Botha plays on the edge-always has done. However there is nothing wrong with the clearout. Why turn the game soft in making a statement that you can't ruck aggresively.

    Burger however should have got a lot longer than 8 weeks-clear sending off in my mind and several months ban.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 6:08 pm  

  • It seemed like a perfectly legal clear out, that didnt even deserve a penalty. Can anyone tell me exactly what rule Botha broke? Because it seemed to me like any other ordinary clear out.

    By Anonymous The Schpoople Master, at June 30, 2009 6:26 pm  

  • I think it was a perfectly fair effort by Botha. The game was an absolute spectacle. Incredibly physical, for the most part clean, and unfortunately (depending on your allegiance) it came out as a win for the Boks.

    There was a lot of foul play in the game from both sides. High challenges from BOD and Simon Shaw stand out in my memory, as does Sheridan attempt to punch someone in the goodies. The Lions were physical and tried to upset the Boks. Bloody good game. They just didn't quite have enough.

    This is what rugby can be, and this is why the sport is so awesome.

    By Anonymous Lions Fan, at June 30, 2009 6:44 pm  

  • never mind, they will be no more safa team in 2021...(thank you for coming anyhow)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 8:02 pm  

  • I dont understand how that was a 2 week suspension. Can someone explain it to me?

    By Anonymous Tuga, at June 30, 2009 9:33 pm  

  • the guy hitting botha afterwards came in from the side of the ruck - not allowed

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2009 10:51 pm  

  • Lions fan here - and no whingeing pom (but i am english.)
    sorry - but it looks like an accident - a legal attempt to counter ruck. adam jones is very very unlucky.

    burger on the other hand though.........

    By Blogger rory997, at June 30, 2009 11:27 pm  

  • no suspension needed just unlucky reciving of a big hit!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2009 12:12 am  

  • I feel sorry for jones....i mean, if matfield or O'connell or anyone had that happen id think, ah well, but for some reason, Jones looks more like a bear or something, and im not talking about a badass grizzly, i mean the kinda giant ones you could win at a fair ground!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2009 12:43 am  

  • Perfectly legal, i see nothing wrong with it.

    By Blogger Scott, at July 01, 2009 1:05 am  

  • the shot looks not too bad but... look at his track record, the cheapest c#@t in world tugby. He should get 2 weeks everytime he takes the field. Cleared out sterling mortlock in a similar fashion with his back turned and nearly took his head off. Oh what a hard man. cheap!

    By Anonymous Mart, at July 01, 2009 1:33 am  

  • .....world rugby...

    By Anonymous Mart, at July 01, 2009 1:35 am  

  • He has a checkered past, but the game would be the worse without him.
    Rugby needs characters like Botha.
    And this is from an Aussie, he's done some of his most despicable stuff to our team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2009 9:26 am  

  • Nothing Wrong, absolutely clean,

    however, if the ref clearly had given the order for green to leave it and it was a clean red ball, at most it would have been a simple penalty

    By Blogger Ryan, at July 01, 2009 12:55 pm  

  • Outrageous that he's been banned, if anything he should be lauded for playing with such intensity. I do wish jones all the best, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    By Anonymous JD, at July 01, 2009 1:51 pm  

  • Just a Fan = Cock....

    no idea what he is talking about. if you actually look into what you are saying, you'll see that BOD was unimpressed with a referee decision which was the yellow card....because just like it is with a headbutt, and eye gouge is an automatic red! so to then be denied that advantage against a team like the boks, ofcourse he isnt going to be happy........

    The lions never for a second (i'd hope) thought they were going to have an easy win over the boks, im pretty sure they only thought they were going to win in their minds to keep them going......you take any team against the boks and you arent going to say "oh yeh im sure it'll be easy!" the simple fact is burger cheated, and the way he did warrants a red card, forget how serious it was etc, eye gouge = red.....same as a headbutt

    (see: Tom James suspended for headbutt on Olivier Azam)

    ^^^^ weakest "headbutt" known to man but rules are rules he had to go!

    so to potentially have 15 against 14 would have been fantastic for the lions and they are upset that the rules were broken and the penalty for breaking them wasnt upheld!

    As for BOD's tackle, if you feel it deserves citing then lets write in to the committee and complain, to me it looks like BOD had a bad headclash and wrap was the last thing on his mind!

    By Anonymous ABFAN, at July 01, 2009 2:50 pm  

  • Just a fan if you think BOD is whining about it listen to this http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/8127785.stm

    By Anonymous No.7, at July 01, 2009 3:13 pm  

  • ok dont listen to that....it doesnt work.....

    try this:


    By Anonymous No.7, at July 01, 2009 3:15 pm  

  • the reason it was cited is because they felt Botha was bound onto the ruck while clearing out, an offence in the rules. harsh but thats the reason

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2009 4:08 pm  

  • that is just stupid... its rucking nothing illegal with that, union has gone to the dogs

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2009 8:48 pm  

  • Ok as a lions fan, i have to say (after everything else i said) that i think this is a shame. yeh jones got injured and im sorry to hear that, and if Botha went in with the intention to hurt jones then thats up to him, can any of us who play say we arent guilty of attempting to hurt someone in a game?? i mean i know for one i have run into the guts of a forward in a maul who was exposed, i dunno if it was legal or not, i didnt get blown up for it, and he got winded nicely....im not saying im overly proud of it, but the moment over took me.....i cant say that this really is worth a ban or even a talking too.....i mean if the rules state that this is wrong then i think the game has gone under!....

    (just to prove im a lions fan.....BURGER ON THE OTHER CASE DESERVED MORE THAN 8 WEEKS!)

    By Anonymous No.7, at July 01, 2009 11:54 pm  

  • It should never have been a suspension in my opinion. I thought that apart from the gouging incident it was one of the best toughest fought matches i've seen for a couple of years.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 02, 2009 2:04 am  

  • http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,16024_5410749,00.html

    This, given that it is purely a reaction to the weekends events, is vindication for all who were unsatisfied by both the refs reaction and the light ban Burger recieved.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 02, 2009 9:08 am  

  • I am South African and came to this site purely to see every English person writing that Botha is dirty and deserved to be sighted... but to my suprise its not the case. Good to see I was wrong on this occasion.

    Most of the Lions fans in SA have been a great sport and also entertaining to watch a match with in a pub. Cheers Eugene

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 02, 2009 2:26 pm  

  • Yea, I'm british and I still think that it was perfectly fine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 02, 2009 6:32 pm  

  • This incident does deserve a citing as Botha has clear intentions to harm the other player. He drives downwards which is dangerous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 02, 2009 8:03 pm  

  • Botha served Jones a big can of man up. That was completely legal, to the letter of the law. What burger did was illegal, disgusting and has no place in Rugby. Burger should of received a harsher punishment, 12 weeks minimum.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 03, 2009 1:51 am  

  • ok wtf rugby is a tough sport ok people get uhrt thts it, there is n oerason why he shuold be banned!! what about the lion coming in from teh side staight after!!! this citing thing is bull shit nd starting to make the game straight up gay, rugby is a tough spot so suck it up and just play....also why is everyone out for the boks head? it just beacuse we are world champions! its about time some kiwis get cited for teh shit they do not just bok players!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 03, 2009 3:47 am  

  • Trying to hamra player is not banned in the rules, girls.
    There's nothing wrong with this.
    Good hard rugby, the way it should be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 03, 2009 7:43 am  

  • In my opinion... harsh.

    By Anonymous Cheech, at July 03, 2009 7:52 pm  

  • I'm not sure if words 'Botha' and 'unlucky' should go together, but there didn't seem anything wrong; this time! Where is consistency in suspensions though? Gouging: Burger 8wks, Quinlan 12wks; Dylan Hartley 26wks; and if gouging seen as bad as biting, then what about that SA prop Johan le Roux 19 months for biting S Fitzpatrick way back in 1994, when citings weren't as strict a process

    By Anonymous taffinperth, at July 04, 2009 4:23 am  

  • Also with Burger; ref was French, where gouging is far more common and 'part of the game'. When the linesman called the ref over and clearly told him of the gouging, the ref started to walk away looking like he was only going to award a penalty; the linesman called him back to say "yellow card, at least"; Would a different nationality ref, where gouging is deplored have sent Burger off immediately?? I think so

    By Anonymous taffinperth, at July 04, 2009 12:35 pm  

  • No problem with the clearout so Botha was unfortunate, however the whole armband demonstration in todays match was pathetic, especially when you consider that BUrger only got 8 weeks.

    By Anonymous Rugbyman6, at July 04, 2009 5:51 pm  

  • You have to make an attempt to bind in the ruck and remove the man. Throwing yourself at someone, especially at shoulder height is dangerous and can cause injury (as we see here). A ban was in order, nothing to long but two weeks is fine with me.

    By Anonymous DanK720, at July 05, 2009 12:13 am  

  • rugby is going soft. great clearance in the ruck by Botha. He found the perfect spot on Jones to knock him back, and delivered a hard clean hit. Injuries happen, its part of the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2009 1:56 am  

  • Poor bloke, Botha didnt deserve a citing.
    Speaking as a lions fan, i think that Adam jones just got unlucky.

    By Anonymous Blacktrucj, at July 06, 2009 7:05 pm  

  • good hit by Botha.Jones was injured bcos he thought that there was nothing coming towards him.Unluckily for him it had to be Botha!No card at all in my opinion.Do you have a vid of Schalk Burger?

    By Anonymous evnz, at July 06, 2009 11:11 pm  

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