Vodacom Super 14

SARU to explain Lauaki farce

2009-04-29 07:41
Let off on a technicality (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell and JJ Harmse

Cape Town and Pretoria – SA Rugby and SANZAR will be called upon to explain the debacle that led to Chiefs loose forward Sione Lauaki escaping suspension for his high tackle on Bryan Habana.

Rob Wagner, managing director of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, confirmed to Sport24 that he will be writing to the South African Rugby Union’s manager of legal affairs, Christo Ferreira, about the issue.

Lauaki got off on a technicality for the tackle after being cited for his tackle on Habana, which earned him a yellow card.

Citing commissioner Luvuyo Matsha did not cite within the 12-hour time frame after the game. It is believed he only decided to go ahead with the citing after calls from New Zealand as to why Lauaki had not been cited.

Such a citing can only take place if the citing commissioner believes a red card would have been appropriate punishment.

Matsha apparently felt a red card would not have been justified. He only went ahead when enquiries were made with incredulity.

The fact that Matsha had been the Bulls’ media liaison a few years ago made the pill that much more bitter to swallow.

It is often felt South African players are harshly treated and there is unhappiness at a former member of the Bulls management not performing his task adequately.

Bulls manager Wynie Strydom says they do not like pointing out incidents of foul play.

“We don’t like doing that because you don’t want to create a tit for tat situation,” he said.

The Bulls camp thought the citing would be a given.

“It was with disappointment that we heard nothing came of it, especially as it seems somebody did not do his job.”

Strydom said they viewed the matter as closed.

However, Wagner will not leave it there. “There will be communication in which we ask for an explanation as to why the matter went awry,” he said.

“There has to be an explanation because it is a procedural matter. Bakkies Botha (Bulls lock) has, for example, been suspended for three weeks. The lack of consistency is unacceptable.”


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