Smit: Botha was victimised

2009-07-03 11:33

Johannesburg - The Springboks will not let the unsuccessful appeal of lock Bakkies Botha, against his suspension for the cleaning out at a ruck, deter them from playing their normal physical game in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

That assurance was given by Bok captain John Smit on Friday when he said he believed Botha was "victimised" after he was cited for the second-half charge on Adam Jones last weekend which left the Welsh prop needing corrective surgery to right a dislocated shoulder.

"I have to believe he was victimised, and I hope and pray that was the case," Smit said, adding that if it wasn't so, it would seriously affect the game of rugby and how it was played.

"One cannot let something like this pass," he said, and pointed out that the Lions management had said that they agreed with his sentiment.

"I hope sanity will prevail in the future."

On the game itself, Smit said the Springboks were as motivated as ever to win the match, despite the fact that there are ten changes to their starting line-up from the side which began the second Test a week ago.

"There is still a massive amount to play for," Smit said and pointed out that this was the last opportunity for the Springboks to play the Lions who will only return in 12 years time.

With the chance of making it a 3-0 series win, they would give their all. "It's another special occasion, we need no further motivation.

"You'll always have emotions running high (between two sides as good as these), but it was a fantastic series.

"It's been one of the more fantastic series we've had, and that's really why emotions run high. It's a series every player will remember for the rest of their lives."

The Boks will have one new cap in Zane Kirchner at fullback and a revamped backline with only Fourie du Preez at scrumhalf retaining his place from the second Test.

Probably the two best centres and the finest flyhalf in South Africa -Wynand Olivier, Jaque Fourie and Morne Steyn respectively - judged on their Super 14 form, will be lining up against the Lions in this revamped backline.

And with the Boks' forward pack better equipped at No 6 where Heinrich Brussow, who is held in high esteem by the tourists, takes over from suspended Schalk Burger, the only real weakening will be at lock.

Lock Johann Muller did play against the Lions three weeks ago, but has only come into the squad this week. He will not have the intensity of the rest of the players, while the other "newcomers" Chiliboy Ralepelle, in his first start, and Ryan Kankowski have been part of the system for more than four weeks now.

They will get their fair share of the ball and, with the exciting new inside backs Jongi Nokwe and Odwa Ndungane, can expect better ball than was sent out wide last weekend.

The Lions will still be very competent and competitive.

"It's been a fantastic series, we did very well against probably the best team in the world," said Lions head coach Ian McGeechan.

"Their finishing and defence have been top class."

He said because of the quality of the people in the squad, they'll be up for the challenge and will give it their best shot to do the Lions jersey proud.

Whether their revamped midfield, with outstanding winger Tommy Bowe now partnering Riki Flutey at centre, will be good enough to hold out Olivier and Fourie, remains to be seen.

However, it still is a very good side and accordingly, Bok captain Smit said he had warned Beast Mtawarira not to underestimate the comeback of recalled Lions tighthead Phil Vickery, who is a fighter and one of the very best.

The Lions did not shy away from the physical aspect last weekend, and they will not do so on Saturday. They know, just as they approached the second Test, that it is their only way towards possible success.

Martyn Williams, to combat Brussow on the ground, could also help their fortunes in securing enough ball - something that they did last week until they lost both their props and both their centres at virtually the same time.

With good ball, they will hope to exploit a very, very good backline which has not, however played together yet.

It will be a good Test, and for the betting man one where his money should be on the Boks.


  • hypocrites - 2009-07-03 12:07

    Why wasn't Andrew Sheridan cited for his punch to Andries Bekker's b****..?? ..Damn hypocrites...!!

  • Kaapenaar - 2009-07-03 12:10

    Go Bokke!

  • Nag ou Grote - 2009-07-03 12:13

    Bakkies was indeed victimised by his reputation and this is a disgrace as it impacts on how the game is played since his charges were unfounded and must lead to confusion..alternatively all players guilty of clearing will be binned and you will need to have the entire pack on the sidelines and more than likely uncontested scrums...WHAT A T&&& who pronounced on Bakkies!!! He must be an ANC appointment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jakes - 2009-07-03 12:22

    Bakkies is always in trouble, as judged by biased spectators and opponents. He is no angel, but he can't be in the wrong all the time.Every team needs a guy that plays a hard physical game, a so-called meanie, and Bakkies is our man. Remember, rugby is a physical game, if you can't cope, play soccer and make a dive for an Oscar, or go and play tennis and scream your arse off when serving.Go hard, or go home.

  • Biltong - 2009-07-03 12:26

    If I hear this story of Bekkers,balls one more time. I swear I,ll go off my head..Isnt there anything else to point out fags?

  • wimps - 2009-07-03 12:26

    As well as the many other high tackles!!! It seems a one way street when it comes to citing bad and dangerous play!

  • Gerry - 2009-07-03 12:27

    The Lions are a bunch of Sussies. They like to dish it out and the referees and assistant referees turn a blind eye to it. But when they get back there own medicine then they cry foul. What about all the high tackles on the Boks that went unnoticed? After four serious high tackles in a row the Lions only got a penalty against them. Shame!

  • Point Blank - 2009-07-03 12:39

    Nag ou Grote, typical response from a brain dead rugby supporter.

  • Dr Fil - 2009-07-03 12:42

    Well said John. It is only the supporters who are jealous of the Bulls' successes that think Bakkies is dirty. Boks to win by 30 tomorrow!

  • JP - 2009-07-03 12:43

    I do not think it has anything to do with the ANC - that's just a stupid comment - as is the citing

  • MAC - 2009-07-03 12:49

    @ Nag ou Grote... Easy now, mate. You don't want to go throwing political slurs like that. What's done is done. I applaud the Lions for standing up for Bakkies too. This whole tour I thought they were whining, snivelling, sore losers so I'm glad to see them regain a little of my respect. Now let's go out there tomorrow and have a good game! GO BOKKE!!!!

  • WJS - 2009-07-03 12:49

    @ Nag ou Grote - No, he is actually an AWB appointment!

  • Joe Black - 2009-07-03 12:50

    Victimised? VICTIMISED? Okay, I'm a Zimbo and know you Sarfricans can be patriotic beyond blindness, but victimised? really? Watch the replay, and you'll realise that Botha's sanction was pretty well earned, and anyone who honestly believes it was fair and "part of the game" needs their eyes checked. The guy did something foolish, ILLEGAL and possibly malicious. It was a moment of madness, and anyone who excuses him just because he's a Bok needs to go back to rugby school. Or is that Boks can't do any wrong?

  • zane - 2009-07-03 12:53

    @Nag ou groote.... the election has come and gone.... dont you realise that we are now together as a country..with some single exeptions... leave the ANC out of this... its the poms we dislike and their Media which are the poepols.... just by the way... I see great improvement from the ANC

  • Zimbabwean Bern - 2009-07-03 13:05

    What to say? This series has been great and welldone to both teams.

  • henk - 2009-07-03 13:06

    sure its not because his white? dont journalists have anything more exciting to write about?are you going to bore us with this shit for the next 12 years? cant you write anything about the good play we had in the match?thanks Heaven this weekend host a new match!! hopefully you will find something better to write about.

  • Louis - 2009-07-03 13:13

    Ban all Player victimisation now. People in managing positions who victimise rugby players should be fired from their positions.

  • Cire - 2009-07-03 13:15

    Well - many years ago Roux put the Lions flyhalf, Phil Sharpe, out of the tour with a broken collar bone through a deliberate stiff arm tackle. In 2009, Bakkies put Jones out with a dislocated shoulder - and PDV says eye gouging (Burger) is the way the Boks play rugby. See a long lasting pattern here?

  • Green T - 2009-07-03 13:22

    This is not touch rugby for goodness sake. Unless you include Andrew Sheridan wanting to play with Andries Bekker's b****!!! The Boks are deserved winners of this series and one is excited to see the additional talent, 10 changes that will be on display tomorrow. I think it is quite clever move, as the team that played in the first two tests might not have been as motivated as the "new" guys will be to prove themselves. They will want to show that they deserve to be in the BOK team. Hier kom die BOKKE, Hier kom die BOKKE!!!...

  • @Joe Black - 2009-07-03 13:39

    dude, joe black, do you know anything about rugby? do you know what a ruck is? do you know what cleaning out means? do you know where the gate is in a ruck? dude, do you know how many guys are in a team??? seriously man, go watch cricket or something that you *might* know something about, and leave rugby to us "Safricans"

  • Journo - 2009-07-03 13:50

    Pieter De Villiers has many faults and may at times aggravate situations with his colourful statements, but at the end of the day he is our Bok coach, unfortunately that is the crime he has committed-according to our media that is. Personally I'm sick and tired of our media playing God and being a law unto themselves, generally making sweeping statements that in most times border on being defamatory. Let it be known that what they draft for the masses to read is their own personal opinion and not what is the reality. The reason only reason the national rugby coach has copped so much abuse from the media, is because they know that they could never be what Pieter De Villiers is, and that is national rugby coach. The pure envy and contempt the media have for De Villiers, lies in the spectacular error SA Rugby made before their announcement of the identity of the successful candidate for the Bok coaching job, that one of the criteria taken into account when making the appointment was ethnicity. To the media that meant that the man had no crediatials or capacity and have latched onto that fact in their assessment and subsequent treatment of the man. It is interesting to note that not a single one of these so-called rugby writers played or have coached at any significant level in the rugby fraternity. I will make an example of Mike Greenaway who only played for a fifth division open side at Amanzimtoti's Rugby club, yet he has the audicity to label Pieter De Villiers a clown. The opinion that the Springboks are winning despite the coach is as ludicrous and non-sensical as the thought of these media free-beer guzzlers being sober while watching the games they report on. My challenge to them is that if they are to be taken seriously as rugby minds, they should give coaching a bash and let us see how far they come in their quest to be the clowns that bark instructions at our national rugby players. Until then I will back my national team coach along with his chosen players and continue to share in the joy of winning and sometimes pain of losing. As for criticism of the coach and real rugby opinion, I will continue to listen to those who are in the know and have the battle scars and memories of donning the Springbok Jersey, kudos to Naas Botha and his crew over at Supersport.

  • Mark - 2009-07-03 14:22

    Joe Black and Cire - you 2 really don't have a clue about rugby. It's not a sport for girls like you. Although it was unfortunate that Jones got injured, Bakkies was right to clean him out - read how the Lions also say the 2 week suspension is absurd. But you 2 village idiots know more than the Boks and Lions. My advice - rather watch the women's tennis final tomorrow with a cup of tea.

  • Sido - 2009-07-03 14:31

    @pointblank - you propbably got this nickname from having been kicked in the skull at point blank range by a rugby player to make such a stupid comment!

  • Johan - 2009-07-03 14:41

    Journo.........The first intelligent mind to speak in a week of rubbish I had to read.Thank you

  • Nag ou Grote - 2009-07-03 14:41

    Luister julle...I don't want to hear dumb things about my mail...I will see you outside and show you what I mean...Bakkies is my man he is a groot ou like ek and my uncle..Ek sal julle engelsmanne by julle broekpype oor die pale so ver skop dat julle ou raak in the trip!!!

  • failed - 2009-07-03 14:56

    Journo, ....fact is that PdV was appointed as Bok-coach on skin-colour and skin-colour alone.. Even the players indicated that Heyneke Meyer was their choice to be the Bok-coach. Appointments on skin-colour and NOT MERIT, is a recipe for dissaster. And that is what is happening now.... Although PdV may be a competent coach, he will always be seen as AA coach, because skin-colour was the deciding factor with his appointment......Affirmative action based on skin-colour has failed all over the world...

  • Jeff Aucamp - 2009-07-03 15:11

    John Smit like Bakkies is an honorable man who stand up for his men.The Lions and their biased travelling media would not be able to reckognise an honourable man if he cleaned them out of a ruck.Bakkies you beauty,putting to bed this unfounded notion that these pikinins can stand up to the mighty BOKS!! And as for the whiners,expect no favours from Johan Muller either!!!

  • Spartan - 2009-07-03 15:25

    Thats what happens when you play the player & not the ball. His reputation has caught up with him, wait for the tri-nations & see how the refs sort him out, but not before he has cost us a few penalties.

  • Joe Black - 2009-07-03 15:50

    Thanks for the abuse ... serves to illustrate my point. Instead of arguing the merits, you say I shld watch the women's tennis final. Sure, I will. I'll also watch the match, and root for the Lions, because I can. As for PdV, I think he deserves more support, not just from the journo class, but also from all the masses. There's a section that, I believe, think he's rubbish just because he talks rubbish. The guy's record speaks for itself, and don't be so jealous a coloured man is coaching your beloved Bokke while all you're coaching is a beer belly. Okay, that's pretty narrow, but listening to all the criticism, it does seem to come from a certain section of the populace. I'd love to be proven wrong, but all I expect is abuse. Rise above, ladies. Rise above.

  • Maggie Thatcher - 2009-07-03 16:01

    What is needed is a system with which to asses and to penalize referees in rugby and umpires in cricket. I consulted with Bob Woolmer the other night through my crystal ball, and he also said that match fixing in both cricket and rugby must still be investigated.

  • Peru Govender - 2009-07-03 16:02

    I think our coach has the courage to speak his mind - although it may not be what the MEDIA or CRITICS want to hear. Our players are professional and passionate - The Lions came with a big ego - now they can go home with a bruised ego- Forward to the Springboks Forward .

  • Dave - 2009-07-03 16:37

    Presumably Botha was charged under Law 10.4(j) which states "Players must not charge into a ruck or maul without binding onto a player in the ruck or maul" If that is the case, then he, along with most everybody who joins a ruck or maul, is guilty of an offence. The sanction for that offence is a Penalty....NO further sanction. A 2-week ban is totally over the top...surely a red-card type of offence if seen by the ref during play.

  • Steve-o - 2009-07-04 07:33

    Back @ Joe Black You and the B&L should rather whatch/play Ballet. Rugby is not a game for sissies. Its rough, its tough,its made for people who can take the "punch",excuse the pun. Cricket is a gentleman's game, rugby is not! Stop whinging and play/watch Rugby!!!!

  • John Roberts - 2009-07-04 18:45

    Any body like to make an observation on why the mighty boks could not score in this last test even one try against a team of sussies/whimps --- and a 2nd XV team of sussies/whimps at that? Mind you it may need someone with more than one brain cell and judging on some of the foregoing comments that person might be difficult to find. On the other and I suppose if one of these individuals had more than one brain cell he might prove to be dangerous.

  • Scarb - 2009-07-04 22:19

    @John Roberts I found that person with one brain cell, its you the rest have more. The tries that was scored was not given and no complaint about it. The game was played and won by a stronger 2nd string side than the Boks' 2nd string side. Yet the end of the day the series is with us and that is what counts. For the comments about race and color, well all I can say to those lot, get a life and live it. We are in the year 2009 not in ox wagon times of long ago.

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