Sympathy with Botha – disgust at SA

I didn’t see the Botha incident last week as I was in a pub in Edinburgh on a stag do, so with the Saffas armbands ive just had a look again via YouTube.

Have to say, I have every sympathy with Botha. Looked OK to me on the angle I saw. Through the gate and arm looked to be involved.

However, he was cited and found guilty by a completely neutral set of observers. Haven’t seen the judgement so cant explain it really. I can only assume there are other camera angles with cast doubt on the use of the arm, and therefore it was a dangerous charge.

For the South Africans to all be wearing ‘justice’ armbands in support of their comrade is outrageous. I hope the IRB come down on them all for bringing the game into disrepute. There are ways of challenging bans and clearly they could have appealed (busy week so this may have happened and I missed it and it was upheld) or they decided not to appeal in which makes today’s decision even more bizarre.

Time for the IRB to step up to the plate. The World Cup champions are challenging the authority of  the ruling body of the sport. They mustn’t sweep this under the carpet.

Leave a comment


  1. BA

     /  4 July, 2009

    They did appeal. The onus is on the player to prove that the original decision was incorrect; the appeal was rejected. However, the IRB did point out that this will have further ramifications based on the “clearout”, but that is probably for another memo…

    As for the armbands, we’ve already gotten memos from the IRB about referees (on and off field) wearing apparel that contravenes the IRB protocol so this topic is nothing new, even for teams!

    At first I thought it was a “solidarity” movement behind some race-related awareness campaign. Then I saw the Doctors with the armbands saying “Bakkies” and it was clear what they were trying to achieve.

    They’ve gone about this the completely wrong way and have taken added further off-field controversy to the 80 minutes of a Test match.

    We can’t just go out and wear protest armbands at every decision we feel is wrong, otherwise we’d be a walking tabloid newspaper. The Lions didn’t wear armbands that said “8 weeks is weak!”.

    That being said, I am a huge fan of IRB referees of wearing patches supporting a charity such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind…

  2. Warren

     /  6 July, 2009

    Couldn’t agree more. In my view it wasn’t even a penalty let alone a citing offence but in the light of the disgracefully light sentence Burger got off with, to start acting like burning martyrs for the sake of a 2 week ban which affected precisely nothing in the grand scheme of things was pathetic, & I’m glad to hear the IRB have charged SARU with misconduct. Now for them to charge De Villiers for his comments re Burger… BTW, what was your view on the Shaw incident / banning? Looked clumsy at worst to me, penalty at best, never a yellow, & never a banning offence. Maybe the Lions should wear armbands in 4 years’ time in Oz??


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