Matfield faces suspension

The Sharks management are going to ask the match commissioner to cite Bulls captain and lock Victor Matfield for an apparent punch on prop BJ Botha in Saturday’s match.

Sharks coach Dick Muir said that he was going to pursue the matter as Botha had sustained a nasty gash below his left eye as a result of the alledged cheap shot. “Those kinds of incidents do not belong in the game,” Muir stated, clearly incensed.

According to the Sharks, the punch was a premeditated incident, while Botha was defenceless in a set scrum. The incident though was not immediately picked up by television replays, but if Matfield is found guilty he could miss the rest of the Super 14 – which includes must-win matches against the Crusaders and Stormers.

Matfield though denied any wrongdoing when asked about it after the match. “I don’t know what they are talking about. They must look at the video, maybe it happened when I cleaned him out, but I’m not that kind of player,” he said, defending himself.

“Hey, it was a physical game from both sides. I did not punch at all.” Whether Matfield is actually cited will be up to the match commissioner as Muir has no authority to initiate that. Muir can merely suggest the official looks at the video. A decision will in all likelihood be made on Monday.

Springbok captain John Smit, meanwhile, went to hospital on Saturday night to have a scan on a sore shoulder that he also picked up in the bruising encounter. The extent of the injury was not immediately clear.

By Andrew Hollely