It’s not been a great Super 14 season for South Africa so far with two of their sides propping up the log, but the country’s five franchises also have the somewhat unenviable record of having accrued the most cards for dirty play and ill discipline in the competition.
What’s more, the only two red cards issued this season were for dangerous/dirty play by South African players, according to a SAPA report on iAfrica.com.
Leading the list by far are the Bulls. They have been yellow-carded seven times, and also have one of the two red cards issued to show for Zane Kirchner’s spear tackle on Dusty Noble in the match against the Lions on 7 March.
The only other red card thus far was for the Sharks’ Epi Taione’s head butt on a Hurricanes player last weekend.
The Bulls’ Deon Stegmann and the Stormers’ Schalk Burger are also two of only four players who have been yellow-carded twice this season.
In total, South African players have been carded 20 times, including the two red cards of Kirchner and Taione.
The Bulls (eight, including a red card), Cheetahs (five), Stormers (four), Sharks (two, including a red) and Lions (one) have all been carded. That amounts to 251 minutes, or a total of nearly 8.5 percent of the five sides’ Super 14 playing time to date.
In this respect, the Bulls have been without a player for 121 out of 640 minutes or 18.9 percent of their game time — an average of 15 minutes in each of their eight matches played.
New Zealand sides have had 15 cards shown to their players, with the Highlanders (five) and the Hurricanes (four) the main offenders, while the Chiefs (three), Blues (two) and Crusaders (one) make up the rest.
It is also noteworthy that the topside on the log, the Crusaders, have had only incurred the wrath of the refs once to the degree where a player was sent off.
The Sharks, second on the log, also have only one yellow card against them in what would have been an exemplary record but for Taione’s reckless act.
The Australians, with a total of only seven, had three yellows shown to the Brumbies, two to the Reds and one each to the Force and the Waratahs.Tweet