WP coach angry at light ban

2014-09-04 10:24
John Dobson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province Under-21 coach John Dobson is upset at the punishments dished out to two Blue Bulls players after WP lock JD Schickerling broke his neck in an Under-21 game in Pretoria last weekend.

VIDEO: The tackle that broke JD Schickerling's neck

Schickerling was injured just after catching a ball from a kick-off when Bulls lock Irne Herbst's shoulder collided with Schickerling's head in their clash at Loftus Versfeld. Afterwards, the other Bulls lock, Marvin Orie, grabbed the WP player in a headclamp before hurling him to the ground.

Schickerling suffered a fractured cervical spine at the C5/C6 level during the match and narrowly escaped paralysis.

Orie was cited on Sunday for tackling Schickerling around the neck and pulling him backwards to the ground, while Herbst received an off-field yellow card.

Orie appeared before a SARU judicial committee in Pretoria on Tuesday where he received a one-week ban.

In his findings judicial officer, Advocate Tokkie van Zyl, said it was highly improbable that Orie’s actions could have caused a serious neck injury.

However, Dobson was not a happy camper on Wednesday and said the following in an interview with Die Burger:

"How can it be that the sum-total of the penalty for foul play which broke JD Schickerling's neck is a one-week ban and an off-field yellow card?

"Should we wait for someone to die before there is active and consistent action taken against players performing shoulder charges, high tackles and spear tackles?

"The International Rugby Board's regulations clearly stipulate that the severity of the injury should be taken into consideration," said Dobson.

Dobson was stunned that Herbst escaped a citing because the medical opinion was that his shoulder charge broke Schickerling's neck.

"The off-field yellow card (which Herbst received) points to foul play. I'm not saying he is guilty, but why not use what we have at our disposal - which in this case would be a hearing," continued Dobson.

Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter, who is also a medical doctor, believes the incident was purely accidental.

Venter said the timing was just wrong. "Both of them weigh 115kg and the outcome is inevitable. Luckily JD is not paralysed. I don't think we should denigrate Irne and Marvin," said Venter.


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