Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus, desperately seeking that first win of the season, will be sweating as star flank Schalk Burger heads into a disciplinary hearing on Monday.
Rugby 365 reports that Burger has been cited for ‘bad sportsmanship’, following a sign he showed at the touch judge, after being yellow carded in the Stormers’ heart-breaking 10-12 loss to the Sharks in Durban at the weekend.
Burger became involved in a scuffle between Sharks captain Johann Muller and one of his (Burger’s) teammates – an illegal action pointed out by touch judge Willie Roos. On the advise of Roos, New Zealand referee Kelvin Deaker yellow carded Burger.
As the player left the field he visibly showed his dissent and it is this sign, showed in the direction of Roos, that has now landed him in hot water.
The World Cup-winning Springbok loose forward has been cited under law 10.4(k): “Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.”
The hearing will take place at Newlands on Monday and if found guilty could be banned from anything between four weeks (lower range of punishment) to 52 weeks (the maximum).
Abuse of match officials are seen in a serious light and Burger may well face some time on the sidelines.
Meanwhile Sharks captain Johann Muller showed signs of compassion for his Springbok teammate, Burger, following the news that the latter had been cited for his actions.
Muller said it was “most unfortunate for him under the circumstances”.
Muller said that he and a Stormers forward had been engaged in an exchange of sorts when Burger became illegally embroiled from the side.
“While there was nothing serious in it and no threat of injury, Schalk was unlucky to have been called by the touch judge,” Muller said.
“As the rules stand, however, the referee was right to have taken a yellow card out of his pocket for what was essentially a harmless affair.”
Obviously, Muller did not see the signs of dissent from Burger, as he left the field to serve his 10 minutes of banishment.
Erasmus would hope that his star player is not banned, as their next match is against the table-topping Crusaders – who last Friday smashed the defending champion Bulls 54-19.
The Stormers lost their opening match of the tournament 9-16 to the Bulls and at the weekend again squandered a half-time lead to lose 10-12 to the Sharks.Tweet