Joost van der Westhuizen’s attack on Bolla Conradie has infuriated the Stormers management, particularly coach Kobus van der Merwe.
Former Bok captain and scrumhalf Van der Westhuizen, now an anchor for Superrugby – the Afrikaans weekly magazine show – castigated Conradie for his behaviour during the Stormers’ win over the Cats Ellis Park.
Conradie and Ricky Januarie were extremely confrontational for their duration on the field, but Van der Westhuizen took particular offence to Conradie’s alleged use of foul language and his celebration over scoring his try – when he kissed De Wet Barry on the cheek.
“We are upset about the attack on Bolla. We are not playing bowls. Obviously the players are going to get hot under the collar on occasions, especially because they are vying for the same position in the national side,” coach Van der Merwe told Die Burger.
“Joost claimed that referee Tappe Henning had told him after the match that Bolla had sworn. I did, however, phone Tappe and he denied having said so to Joost.
“According to Tappe he simply told Joost that he had to speak to Bolla and Ricky because they were in one another’s hair all the time.
“I have already requested our CEO, Rob Wagner, to take up the matter with SuperSport.
Van der Westhuizen, however, remains defiant and is refusing to retract his comments.
“Tappe told me he was shocked at the swearing on the field. When you study a video of the game you can clearly see Conradie swearing.
“It is not only my opinion, but Kobus Wiese and Errol Tobias agree. I stand by what I said.”
Van der Westhuizen is sure to endure criticism for what is perceived as anti-Cape bias. Back in 2003 he famously told Quinton Davids – who arrived late for a gym session – not to “bring your Western Province manners here.”
Van der Westhuizen appears to have found backing in the form of Supersport CEO Gert Roets, who indicated he would not take the matter up with is anchor.
“I don’t wish to get involved in a verbal war between unions, but Joost has the fullest right to voice his opinion,” Roets stated.