Boks to appeal Bakkies ban

The Springbok management are outraged with the banning of Bakkies Botha and will work to overturn the decision before the third Test.

The Boks coaches have accepted Schalk Burger will no longer feature and the flanker has already flown back to Cape Town. But when it comes to the decision to suspend Botha for foul play, they believe the judiciary got it terribly wrong.

‘The reason for our appeal is we saw no wrong in the way Bakkies cleared the ruck,’ Dick Muir told keo.co.za. ‘It’s because of the injury [to Adam Jones] that there is a problem.

‘There were a lot of incidents that perhaps deserved a citing, but this was not one of them. It does disrupt us from a selection perspective and we are very disappointed.

‘If clearing a player from a ruck is going to be cited, then you have to be concerned about what the game is coming to. It’s a very big part of the game.’

The Boks have already delayed their team announcement until after the appeal on Thursday. This will also allow the medical staff an opportunity to reassess the injured Danie Rossouw.

Asked if he felt more Lions players should have been cited for foul play, coach Peter de Villiers said the Boks can’t afford to get caught up in any mudslinging.

‘When I was a boy we played a little game called tit for tat, but I’d like to think we’ve outgrown that. The IRB pays the citing officers a lot of money and we have to abide by their decisions.’

While the efficiency of the citing official has come into question, so has the performance of the referee. Frenchman Christophe Berdos had a nightmare in the second Test, and Bok assistant coach Gary Gold said he was pleased Stuart Dickinson would be in control at Ellis Park.

‘It’s not to our advantage that we have a referee that we know well, but I do think it will benefit both teams.

With all due respect, I believe the interpretation will be better and the better communication will make life easier for both sides,’ said Gold.

By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg