Saru president Oregan Hoskins has blasted the Sanzar judiciary for Bismarck du Plessis’s three-week ban.
The Boks have been fuming since Brad Thorn only received a one-week ban for his dangerous tackle on John Smit, which ruled the skipper out of the rest of the Tri-Nations campaign. The severity of the ban handed out to Du Plessis has only heightened the tension, with Hoskins planning to raise the issue of inconsistency when Sanzar meet later this week.
“We certainly thought about an appeal, but it would have been a logistical nightmare before a very important game,” Hoskins told the media in Perth. “It would have kept a player there in New Zealand for a couple more days unsure of whether he would be playing and a coach sitting here unsure of whether to include him in his plans or not.
“It would be remiss of me to remain silent because I believe the sentence was extremely harsh. I was quite shocked by the outcome of the hearing and I’m concerned about the whole system and its consistency. I will table those concerns with Sanzar this week.
“I complained at the World Cup last year about the treatment of Schalk Burger ( who was cited and banned for four matches for a high challenge, later reduced to two on appeal) and Tim Gresson, the head of the IRB judicial committee, conceded later that I was correct. But I don’t want to hear that I’m correct, I want to see the system being corrected.”
Hoskins said Du Plessis’s punishment clearly didn’t fit the crime.
“I’ve watched that replay for hours on super slow-mo. The fact that it was not deliberate, coupled with the fact that it did not cause any injury, means he should have been given the benefit of the doubt and found not guilty.
“There is a third factor to take into account and that is it was Thomson’s own team-mate, Jerome Kaino, who played a role in the incident. Kaino hooked Bismarck’s arm and dragged it across Thomson’s face before pushing him over.
“Just last week, our captain felt he had been spear-tackled and because of that he’s out of the whole Tri-Nations. But the guilty party was only suspended for one match. There’s a lot of inconsistency creeping in and it’s not good for the game. It’s totally unacceptable for us to put up with this.”