Bulls threaten legal action

The Bulls are seeking legal advice against newspaper accusations that their captain Gary Botha deliberately fouled teammate Derick Hougaard in Saturday’s Currie Cup final.

Cape Argus rugby writer Dale Granger on Tuesday accused Botha of kicking Hougaard, an action which Granger wrote ended Hougaard’s final. The headline to the story read: ‘Revealed: How Botha put the boot into Hougaard’.

Now the Bulls have kicked back and the onus could be on the paper and Granger to substantiate the claim.

“I would like to consult some legal experts. If they feel it can be taken further we will certainly do so,” Botha’s agent Peet Van Zyl said.

Botha told Die Beeld’s De Jong Borchardt that the report was a lie. “There is no way that it is true,” he said. “Somebody is probably looking for sensation again. I can guarantee that I never stood on Derick.”

Hougaard said the allegations were “the biggest nonsense I have ever heard.”

Die Beeld also quotes team management as ridiculing the report. “Whoever thinks such a thing (Botha trampling his own teammate) happened must be crazy,” Blue Bulls coach Pote Human said. “This is shocking, outrageous and clearly sensation seeking.”

Tommie Smook, the team doctor, confirmed on Tuesday that Hougaard had no stud marks on his head or shoulders, as stated in the Argus report.

“He took a hard knock to the head and shoulder; presumably when he was hit by the elbow of the Cheetahs’ tighthead prop (Jannie du Plessis). He was momentarily confused and I decided that he had to be replaced.”